GlassHouse Takes Aim At Data Centre Energy Impact

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New service is aimed at helping enterprises tame power-hungry data centres, harness cost savings and gain environmental benefits

IT infrastructure services provider, GlassHouse Technologies has said its new model for measuring the CO2 emissions of power-hungry data centres will draw on practical, real-life content.

Mark Shirman, GlassHouse chief executive told eWEEK Europe in an interview that the recent launch of its Energy Proficiency Impact Analysis (EPIA) service for data centres would draw on data from “literally thousands of projects”.

“We’ve been helping major customers like BT virtualise their data centres to be more efficient, deliver better total cost of ownership and reduce floor space for years,” he said.

“But we saw the biggest portion of their return on investment came from reduced power and cooling requirements, as a result of their reduction in energy consumption and impact on carbon emissions, although we weren’t specifically measuring these factors before as part of the service we provide.”

Shirman said the impact of the recession and looming carbon emissions regulations had increased demand for such measures to be factored into data centre projects.

“Green is at the top of their agenda,” he added. “I’m not saying ‘pay us to tell you how green you are,’ but green IT is helping IT departments justify new projects financially, as well as support wider, corporate initiatives.”

The EPIA has been designed to evaluate the IT hardware and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) options available for an organisation to make the best use of their IT environment and gauge the of changes to the data centre.

And the EPIA model will be based on benchmark project data as well as ongoing academic research into standardised data centre energy monitoring frameworks to improve visibility into the IT environment and enhance potential efficiencies.

“The EPIA makes use of standards, but these are still very much emerging, so the model will be a living and growing one that may well make use of other energy measures, like water footprints for example, in future,” Shirman said.

But he added that, in spite of efforts to introduce server Energy Star ratings and initiate debate over a cap-and-trade carbon emissions market in the US, UK and Europe business was leading the way in demand for greener data centres.

“They already see this as a value-added service, or one extra set of parameters to measure,” he said. “Once it’s measured, we can take it forward to help provide and demonstrate ongoing improvements too.”