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The Green Grid, a nonprofit consortium based in Portland, Ore. and dedicated to cutting the use of IT’s single most precious resource—electricity—announced on April 10 plans for a technical summit to be held April 18-19 in Denver.

The summit, the first event the organization will host since its formal launch on Feb. 26, is expected to produce detailed technical objectives and program plans for 2007, a Green Grid spokesperson said.

The consortium, focused on advancing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems, originated last April behind 11 founding members: AMD, APC, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Rackable Systems, SprayCool, Sun Microsystems and VMware.

New members to The Green Grid include 1E Ltd., 365 Main, Active Power, Affiniti, Aperture, Azul Systems, BT plc, Brocade Communications, Chatsworth Products, Cherokee International, Cisco Systems, ColdWatt, COPAN Systems, Digital Realty Trust, Eaton, Force10 Networks, Juniper Networks, Netezza, Novell, Pillar Data Systems, Panduit, QLogic, Rackspace Managed Hosting, SGI, SatCon Stationary Power Systems, Texas Instruments, The 451 Group and Vossel Solution.

“This inaugural technical summit signals the swift pace with which The Green Grid is moving to further define our technical objectives for 2007 and beyond,” said Bruce Shaw, a member of the board of directors.

“Participation from the industry’s leading data center efficiency experts will ensure our continued progress in helping the industry achieve greater data center energy efficiency.”

Event aims to nail down technical objectives

The technical summit is expected to bring together leading technical experts from member companies. The event is designed to help The Green Grid’s technical committee further define technical objectives addressing three key areas: definition and measurement of data center efficiency; guidance for data center owners and managers making decisions about data center architecture and planning; and guidance for data center owners and managers looking to improve energy efficiency during day-to-day operations.

The Environmental Protection Agency also is concerned with data center efficiency, having asked the server industry recently to identify data center power and cooling issues, attempt to quantify usage levels and project these numbers for the next five years. A report is due June 16 to Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Mike Rogers (R-Michigan).

The Green Grid undoubtedly will be involved in the report to the EPA at some point, an EPA official told eWEEK, since they are working on exactly the same problems.

The Denver summit will include participation from many of the new industry leaders who have joined the consortium since its formal launch, the spokesperson said.

New Green Grid member 365 Main, a San Francisco-based data center infrastructure provider that leases secure, power and cooling-controlled space to companies for their data centers, has already been recognized for power saving. The company was honored by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for saving $70,000 per month in energy costs—primarily by improving its backup generator testing methodology.

365 Main, the size of a full city block in downtown San Francisco, averages about $700,000 per month in power costs.

The Green Grid also will work to promote ways to measure power consumption to give companies better tools for things like rolling out new servers.

EPA begins evaluation of data center power and cooling issues. Click here to read more.

“One of the big things that the consortium will focus on is looking at ways to figure out how to measure these things, whether it is performance per watt or power per rack,” said Kevin Knox, vice president of AMD’s commercial business, worldwide, in Austin, Texas.

The industry has enthusiastically responded to the formal launch of The Green Grid, said board member John Tuccillo.

“With leading companies from across technology market segments joining the consortium, we can now truly bring the collective expertise of the industry to bear on this industry-wide challenge,” Tuccillo said. “We welcome our new members and invite other industry leaders to consider membership.”

The Green Grid does not endorse any vendor-specific products or solutions and will seek to provide industry-wide recommendations on best practices, metrics and technologies that will improve overall data center energy efficiencies, the spokesperson said.

Membership requirements

Membership is open to companies interested in data center operational efficiency at the Contributor ($25,000 per year) or General Member ($5,000 per year) level.

General members attend and participate in general meetings of The Green Grid, review proposals for specifications and have access to specifications for test suites and design guidelines and IP licensing.

For more information, go here.

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