Tool baselines data center energy efficiency

The Energy Department will release a beta version this month of an online software suite designed to help organizations identify key energy-saving opportunities in data centers.

Using the DC Pro software suite, data-center managers can enter information about servers, storage and networking hardware, software, cooling and power equipment, and other energy sources to determine the overall energy efficiency of their facilities.

Managers can benchmark subsystems, assess energy savings potential, track improvements to energy intensity, and quantify key metrics including cost, primary energy and carbon emissions, said Paul Scheihing, technology manager for DOE's Industrial Technologies Program.

DC Pro will 'give you a hit list on how you can improve energy efficiency,' Scheihing said. He spoke today at the DatacenterDynamics conference in Washington, where he gave an update on DOE's Save Energy Now program to boost energy efficiency.

He urged conference attendees to download the beta software when it becomes available. DOE is testing it at 12 facilities.

DC Pro Version 1.0 is slated for release in September. It will be available for free and will complement the other energy-measurement tools data-center managers might be using, Scheihing said.

The DC Pro suite is part of a larger effort by DOE and the Green Grid, a consortium of industry and government agencies, to achieve 10 percent energy savings overall in U.S. data centers by 2011.

DOE and its partners plan to increase awareness through classes and Webcasts that will help data centers improve energy efficiency. The agency will test the first training initiative next week at the General Services Administration's facility in Kansas City, Mo. The goal is to have 3,000 data centers complete training by 2011.

Other Save Energy Now milestones include:
  • 1,500 midtier and enterprise-class data centers will have used assessment protocols and tools to improve data-center energy efficiency by 25 percent by 2011.
  • 200 enterprise-class data centers will have improved their energy efficiency by 50 percent by implementing accelerated virtualization, high-efficiency servers and power systems, optimized cooling, and combined heat and power systems by 2011.
  • 200 qualified specialists will be certified to assist data centers by February 2009.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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