HP has become the first company to have its servers earn the Energy Star Seal. The EPA launched the Energy Star for Enterprise Servers program on May 15 after two years of development. The program just published its first list of servers that qualified for Energy star as of June 1, which features four HP Proliant servers, including the DL360 G6 1U model and three configurations of the 2U DL360 G6.
The Energy Star effort hopes to offer buyers an independent "apples to apples" method for comparing the energy efficiency of servers from major vendor. For companies with large server farms, energy efficiency improvements at the server level can add up to large gains across a data center, as noted this week by Ken Brill of The Uptime Institue in his column for Forbes.
Brill noted the impact of saving 50 watts in energy consumtpion per server. "Fifty watts may not seem like much, but for a company buying 10,000 servers annually over four years, the lifecycle savings, including facility total cost of ownership in the product selection process, amounted to almost $10 million for electric utility OpEx savings," writes Brill. "More importantly, $56 million in data center construction was deferred.
The EPA has published the program specs on its web site, which cover servers with one to four processors, and set efficiency goals for servers at full load and also when idle. To achieve an Energy Star rating, a server must be able to measure and report power usage, temperature and processor utilization - and those features must be turned on when a server ships. The standard does not cover blade servers due to challenges in making direct energy usage comparisons with rackmount systems.
Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. The Energy Star label can be found on more than 50 different kinds of products, new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.