A Consortium With a Conscience

By Eileen Feretic  |  Posted Thursday, February 18, 2010 17:02 PM


The Third Annual Green Grid Technical Forum and Members' Meeting, held on Feb. 4, had an admirable theme: "Get Connected: Drive Change With Global Strategies for Efficient IT." The consortium (www.thegreengrid.org) of companies, government agencies and educational institutions around the world is "dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems."

The forum brought hundreds of members and partners from around the world to discuss, debate and chart the future of energy consumption by public and private sector organizations. These individuals include executives from information technology and facilities departments, as well as other C-level executives.

When I spoke with John Tuccillo, The Green Grid's chairman and president, and board member Kathrin Winkler, they were passionate about this organization's mission and the value it brings both to its members and to the public as a whole.

"We are user-driven--not vendor-driven," Winkler stressed, explaining that the organization does not endorse specific vendors' products. Instead, The Green Grid recommends best practices, metrics and technologies to improve data center efficiency and to "unite global industry efforts to standardize on a common set of metrics, processes, methods and new technologies."

"We provide a community and culture of collaboration," Tuccillo added. "All our members have a voice in our deliverables. They have the opportunity to express their views on the organization, its new tools and its future efforts. They can even prototype tools if they want.

"Users play a governance role in our organization. We even have an advisory council, established in 2007, that focuses exclusively on the user community."

As part of its education efforts, the consortium has created The Green Grid Academy, which offers online courses that are open to both members and the public. The first course was taken by 579 members and 339 nonmembers.

The second self-directed online course, "Data Center 101: Constrained Capacity," was launched at the February forum. At the event, the consortium also introduced two new online tools (the Power Efficiency Estimator and the Power usage Effectiveness calculator); debuted a new white paper, the "Impact of Virtualization on Data Center Physical Infrastructure"; and announced an alliance with Data Center Pulse, a community of data center owners and operators.

"Our members--both individuals and companies--are committed to improving the energy efficiency of their data centers," Tuccillo said. And The Green Grid is committed to helping them.

Hopefully, more individuals, companies and organizations will take on the responsibility of conserving energy. Even if they do it primarily to save money, it will still move us one step closer to the ultimate goal: a truly green planet.

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