Energy Standard for Networks in the Works

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There are a growing number of energy efficiency initiatives targeting data center equipment. But what about the network? The Energy Consumption Rating (ECR) Initiative is an open standards-based project aimed at creating energy-efficiency metrics for network and telecom devices. The project was developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, network gear vendor Juniper (JNPR) and Ixia (XXIA), which does network performance testing. Katie at GigaOm has details:

The Initiative is welcoming network industry vendors, service providers and other standards bodies to work with it to help institute benchmark metrics for how energy-efficient (or not) network hardware is. The group is working on repeatable measurements to report energy performance in units of “watts per gigabit per second,” a sort of miles per gallon for tech gear.

The initiative was announced by Ixia and Juniper. The inclusion of LBL (which is not yet listed as an ECR member) would broaden the effort beyond vendors. 

The EPA is already working on Energy Star ratings for servers and storage, as well as a longer-term project to develop a facility-level program to rate overall data center efficiency. All are trying to come up with “miles per gallon” benchmarks that can help data center buyers and managers sort out the energy consequences of their purchasing decisions. These are all works in progress, but promise a future in which data center professionals will have far more information about their energy use. See additional coverage at Network World.

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.

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