Hardware Vendors Team Up on Hot Spots

Advanced Micro Devices, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems have teamed to form The Green Grid, an industry response to growing problems with heat loads generated by high-density blade server installations. The group’s goal is to pool industry experience and expertise “to lower the overall consumption of power in datacenters around the globe.”

“The Green Grid will function as an interactive body of members who will share best practices in datacenter power management,” reads a description on the Green Grid web site, which includes links to case studies, white papers and research. “In the coming weeks, industry experts will be leading interactive online discussion boards, live chats, and webinars to raise awareness and foster discussion around critical aspects of datacenter management.”

But what about Intel? That depends who you ask. An AMD spokesperosn told InternetNews.com that Intel “received an invitation but it hasn’t responded.” That’s news to Intel. “We were not asked to join,” Intel spokesman Scott McLaughlin told News.com. “We’ve been involved in a lot of alliances and have a history of developing industry ecosystems. Regardless of who’s organizing it, we’re always ready to participate as long as it’s focused on the customer (and) not just issuing press releases.”

Industry rivalries aside, the problems posed by rising heat loads in data centers has been a hot topic at industry conferences in recent weeks, which have featured discussions of advanced air cooling techniques as well as liquid cooling products.

“IT professionals are telling us that demands on their data centers are growing to the point where they can no longer keep up, and they don’t know how they can fix the problems within their existing footprint,” AMD’s Bruce Shaw told eWeek. “We are hearing horror stories about having to build new data centers costing millions of dollars because they just can’t keep up with the performance envelope.” Intel and AMD are planning to unveil low-power processors that will use about 40 percent less power than existing products, according to several presentations at the recent DataCenterDynamics conference.

Membership in the Green Grid is open to IT professionals who are concerned or chartered with datacenter operations and facilities management.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.