Energy Star Readying Server, Storage Specifications

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Energy efficiency standards for servers are nearing completion –  and storage specifications are next

The long awaited Energy Star label for server manufacturers entered its final draft approval stages last week.

At the same time, the international energy efficiency standards initiative set its sights on beginning the process to establish a similar ratings label for computer storage systems.

The US US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last Friday released the final draft of the specifications that will determine whether a server can carry an Energy Star label.

The result of four earlier drafts and two years of work by the agency and industry stakeholders, the final draft specification includes newly proposed I/O Idle allowances, which do not take blade systems into account. It will be open for consultation until 8 May.

It will then be put forward for formal adoption from 15 May, meaning the scheme – which has proved popular among PC and household appliance manufacturers – will be open to server manufacturers and available to influence enterprise IT buying decisions for the first time.

The US agency also last week wrote to enterprise storage equipment manufacturers and other interested stakeholders, announcing its intent to pursue development of a similar specification for their market.

Andrew Fanara, Energy Star product development manager said in the letter that, although energy saving opportunities in data centres have been well documented, there was still a need to address the barriers to energy efficiency that persist.

“EPA is pursuing a dual strategy to overcome these challenges by helping purchasers more easily identify energy efficient IT equipment with the use of the Energy Star designation, and by encouraging organisations to benchmark the energy performance of their data centres,” he said.

In complement to the pending server specification, Fanara said that the EPA intends to begin the process to develop a similar storage specification, following a recent scoping exercise to assess its potential benefits.

The letter added that further details on the storage specification development process would be released in coming weeks.