Data center facilities pro

Feb 4 2009   2:33PM GMT

Tidbits from The Green Grid Technical Forum

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

The Green Grid Technical Forum continues today in San Jose. Yesterday was for members only; today it’s open to anyone. I spoke yesterday to two board members, John  Tuccillo from APC and Mark Monroe from Sun Microsystems. They updated me on some of the things going on with The Green Grid, which was formed a couple years ago to address the growing issue of data center power consumption. Here’s a rundown on a few of the details.

Data center design guide

Starting this year, The Green Grid will start putting together a data center design guide, something it’s calling Data Center 2.0. It’s aiming to release the first draft of the design guide in February 2010, a year from now. The guide will purportedly be a top-to-bottom look at how to build an efficient data center, looking at everything from design to construction to operations.

Data center Second Life

Tuccillo and Monroe also told me plans for The Green Grid Academy, which the group sees as a way to more easily disseminate information, metrics and tools that they’ve created. As Tuccillo said, “we need to embed deeper learning so the material can become second nature.” The concept: A user goes to The Green Grid Academy, gets themselves an avatar, and is then walked through a virtual world set up as a vendor-neutral data center. The user can then choose to take classes on various elements of operating a data center, such as Green Grid metrics.  It will be free. Right now it is available only to members, as the group wants them to vet it and find any bugs. They hope to have it ready for everyone in the first half of this year.

“This will give us a platform for end user type education,” Monroe said.

Making data center end user progress

When The Green Grid formed more than two years ago, it was mostly a conglomeration of vendors, and it took some heat because of that. Even now, the board of directors all come from vendor companies — AMD, APC, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Sun.

But it has made some progress in bringing more end users into the fold. Last fall it formed an end-user advisory council, a 10-member group whose members include data center users from AT&T, British Telecom and eBay. Their job is to guide the board of directors so the focus of The Green Grid doesn’t lean too far on the IT supplier side. They’re involved in the data center design guide mentioned above, for example. And The Green Grid has been strict about who gets on the advisory council. A company like Microsoft could conceivably have a representative on there, since it’s one of the largest builders of data centers in the world. But The Green Grid determined that any IT vendor could not have representation on the end user council.

In addition, Tuccillo and Monroe said they’re growing their end-user ranks. The Green Grid has 200 members now, with about 18% or 36 members being solely end users.

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