Green Grid: No Easy Way to Go Green

At the consortium's first technical meeting, lots of companies discuss going green, but there's no one way to build a greener data center.

SAN FRANCISCO-There's no one way for an enterprise to develop a green strategy and achieving a more energy efficient data center can prove difficult for IT managers without a firm plan and full company support.

Those were the themes discussed at the opening of The Green Grid's first Technical Forum and members' meeting, which officially kicked off Feb. 5. The goal of The Green Grid consortium, which formed a year ago and now boasts 150 members, is advancing energy efficiency in the data center.

While still a relatively new initiative, The Green Grid is using its first technical conference to discuss four new "deliverables" that its membership committees have developed in the last 12 months, including reports on best practices and practical steps enterprises can take to develop and plan energy efficient data centers.

John Tucillo, a director of the nonprofit Green Grid, opened the two-day conference with a reminder to members that there is still a great deal of work to be done in spreading the message of green IT. While many companies and their IT staffs are aware of what the technology can do, it's often hard to implement these practices in real world situations.

There is no easy solution for developing a green data center. However, the consortium believes that by sharing information, better solutions can be developed.

"Let us share with the industry where we are on a couple of fronts," said Tucillo. "We want to solicit feedback from the industry, engage in the strength that is this organization and move forward. Essentially, we have to get connected to efficient IT.

To start off the event, three members of The Green Grid spoke of recent projects to improve or consolidate data centers using green technology. Throughout their talks, all agreed that without the support of the entire company, not just the IT staff or the facilities division, it is impossible to develop a green data center.

On the technology front, all these enterprises were turning toward virtualization-the ability to divide a physical sever into multiple virtual environments-and high-density computing in the form of blade servers, as the two main technologies in designing and building these new data centers.

There was also a call for uniformed standards to measure energy efficient, a main goal of The Green Grid consortium.