The Green Grid Whitepaper Bonanza!

Following on from this week’s successful Technical Forum, The Green Grid yesterday announced not only the availability of the presentations from the conference, but a whole raft of brand new whitepapers.

New content featured at the Technical Forum included the following:

All of the Technical Forum presentations are available for download in the Library and Tools section including two excellent keynote presentations by Skip Laitner, ACEEE, and Rob Atkinson, ITIF.

Happy reading. If you get through this lot I reckon you’ll be about ready to build your own Data Center..


The Green Grid’s New Data Center compute Efficiency (DCcE) metric.

 

1E’s fellow co-founder and all round geek Mark Blackburn presented at the Green Grid Technical Forum this week. His chosen topic of expertise was the upcoming Data Center compute Efficiency (DCcE) metric.

Mark’s work in this field is really exciting as it moves data center efficiency onto an area which has been long neglected, that of Server Power Management. Historically data canter managers have been all about reducing cooling load, water usage and general data center power usage at the rack level. The DCcE metric allows you to go that extra step into the rack to determine the efficiency of the servers themselves.

Stepping back a bit, DCcE relies on the calculation of the efficiency at the individual server level. This is know as Server Compute Efficiency (SCE). SCE is a method of determining whether or not a server is performing its Primary Service either efficiently or even at all. So a server could be allocated as a Database host, and that would be the Primary Service for that server. Alongside the Primary Service however there will also be secondary and Tertiary services such as defragmentation, backup, virus scanning etc which will obviously cause some utilization of the machine.

So although Primary Service usage is the one to watch, in a data center of hundreds or maybe even thousands of servers, it is in fact much easier to track the utilization of those common secondary and tertiary services. If you do that, then you can end up with an accurate idea of your Primary Services utilization by simply working out  the following: Primary service work = All work –Secondary & Tertiary work. Simple!

 

Or in it’s slightly more complex form, as Mark demonstrated this week, the following rules apply..

Over a time period
If
–All CPU minus secondary & tertiary CPU > noise threshold
Or
–All I/O minus secondary & tertiary I/O > noise threshold
Or
–There have been incoming network sessions for primary services
Or
–There has been an interactive logon
Then
–Server was being useful
Else
–Server was not being useful

Having performed these calculations and measurements, we eventually end up with the Server Compute Efficiency (ScE), which is the proportion of samples that the server is providing Primary Services over time (as a percentage). This instantly provides us with the ability to detect unused servers, as any server with an ScE of 0% over a prolonged period of time must be doing nothing useful at all! Also, any servers with low ScE are worth investigation as they may be candidates for virtualization.

So when we have the ScE for all of our servers, we can determine the Data Center compute Efficiency (DCcE) by aggregating ScE across all servers in the data center. So here are some important facts worth noting about DCcE.

DCcE Provides a benchmark against which to improve (like PUE)
DCcE is NOT a productivity metric  in that it does not measure how MUCH work is done, just the proportion of work that is useful
DCcE CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be compared between data centers due to the subjective determination of secondary and tertiary processes

DCcE is another great tool in the armory that is Data Center Efficiency, and opens up many new possibilities in this field. 

 

Many thanks to Mark Blackburn for his great work on this. There will be a Green Grid whitepaper to follow, and if you want to see the slides from the whole presentation you can grab them here.

Also, if you are attending MMS2011 you can catch our session on Tuesday, 3:30 – 3:50 Datacenter Efficiency using NightWatchman Server Edition, as we use the very same DCcE calculations in our server power management product.


1E at The Green Grid Technical Forum 2011

As previously mentioned on these pages, The Green Grid (TGG) Tech Forum starts on March 1st 2011 in Santa Clara, CA.

John A. “Skip” Laitner, Director of Economic and Social Analysis for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, will deliver the keynote, which will highlight the critical role of IT energy efficiency in maintaining a productive and more prosperous global economy.

If that wasn’t enough to whet the appetite, on March 2nd Dr. Robert Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will  focus on the upside for governments to incent and spur innovation in energy efficient IT, which is in contrast to the current legislative environment that fixates on regulating efficiency.

As a member of The Grid, 1E will be superbly represented by my good friends and geeks (sure they won’t mind me calling them that) Messrs Andy Hawkins and Mark Blackburn.

Andy will be presenting a session entitled “Determining the Implications of Unused Servers and How They Can Be Addressed”, and Mark will be part of a panel on “Data Center Efficiency Metrics: PUE, Partial PUE, ERE, DCcE” where he’ll be explaining Data Center compute Efficiency (DCcE) and its underlying metric Server Compute Efficiency (ScE) and how it they can help you find unused or under utilized servers.

If you are in the process of choosing which events to attend this year, and are at all interested in Data Center or IT efficiency then this one’s for you.

Register for the Event

Register today and encourage your colleagues to attend! Information about the complimentary pass each member company receives and a discounted hotel room block is available online. For non members, attendance is only available for the 2nd March but it will give you a great insight into the work of TGG and may even persuade you to join!

For a full list of the great sessions available check http://www.thegreengrid.org/events/tech-forum-2011.aspx


The Green Grid has a New Boss and a New Focus

 

The Green Grid has a new boss. Mark Monroe is the new Executive Director, formerly Sun Microsystems‘ Director of Sustainable Computing, and was a founding director of the Green Grid. If you haven’t come across the Green Grid before, here’s what they do..

The Green Grid is a global consortium of IT companies and professionals seeking to improve energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems around the globe. The organization seeks to unite global industry efforts to standardize on a common set of metrics, processes, methods and new technologies to further its common goals.

You may know them for their ground breaking work on the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric for data centers, and in the last year or so there have been new metrics emerging for Carbon Usage and even a proposed Water Usage metric.

So along with news of a new head honcho came a press release which hinted at the shape of things to come for the ‘not for profit’ organization.

The release states that the organization is ‘expanding its focus and deliverables to address growing industry trends towards the sustainability and resource efficiency of information technology.’

“The expanded focus of The Green Grid provides leadership opportunities for organizations of all sizes to contribute to a growing body of work that impacts the energy- and resource-efficiency of IT,” said Mr. Monroe.  “We welcome and encourage active participation and collaboration from interested members and affiliates across the global technology, sustainability, and government landscape.”

As a contributing member of the Green Grid in the field of server Power Management , we will of course be watching things closely, but my own view is that this new approach can only be a good thing. Sustainable IT and sustainable business are rapidly becoming as one, and this new expanded focus will hopefully see the work of the Green Grid helping companies to move to a new level of IT and business efficiency.

If you want to find out more about the work of the Grid, or are interested in contributing at all, you could do worse than to pop along to the upcoming Technical Forum and Members Meeting on March 1-2, 2011, in Santa Clara, CA. This meeting will provide more detail on how the organization helps data center operators more efficiently use resources such as energy, carbon, and water.  Registration for The Green Grid Technical Forum 2011 is now open to members and non-members.  Attendance is open to members of The Green Grid on March 1, and then opens to the public and the media on March 2.

So here’s wishing all the best to Mark Monroe in his new role, and also thanking his predecessor Larry Vertal for his great work in recent years.