Users need More Data to Make Better Decisions, Energy Star for Computer Servers

The Energy Star Program Requirements for Computer Servers has been out for weeks, and HP just announced the first Energy Star Server.

HP gets a gold (Energy) Star

By Andy Patrizio on June 5, 2009 8:09 PM

HP is the first server vendor to earn an Energy Star Seal. A few weeks back, the EPA launched a program that would allow servers to slap an Energy Star logo on their servers, giving vendors some new bragging rights.
The EPA said the program would allow current models to meet the specs, because it designed the spec based on current technology, not something out in the future.
Well, HP is the first to earn Energy Star for Enterprise Servers. As of June 1, the ProLiant DL360 G6 1U model and three configurations of the DL360 G6 2U model get the star. No doubt Dell and IBM are working feverishly for their stars as well.

But, I held off on on blogging the release of the specification as there was plenty of media coverage.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with and getting to know the group of people who work on the energy star server specification, and we just met this last week to discuss where things are and what is next.

One of the questions I have been thinking about is why users should care of the specification. A simple approach is to use the idea of User Stories.

A user story is a software system requirement formulated as one or two sentences in the everyday or business language of the user. User stories are used with Agile software development methodologies for the specification of requirements (together with acceptance tests).

So, if you apply the user story idea to what the Energy Star program for computer servers.

'”As an enterprise consumer I need server performance and energy data to make decisions on what is the right server for our IT loads.”

As reports.

The specification, which has been under development for a few years, is designed to give buyers a starting point for evaluating the energy-efficiency of servers, according to Andrew Fanara, a program manager for Energy Star at the Environmental Protection Agency.

It includes a common "power and performance data sheet" that reports energy data in a common format. Compliant products will also have relatively efficient power supplies, which means they will give off less waste heat.

Other criteria are the ability to report energy-related statistics to data center management software and relatively efficient idling, Fanara said.

Sounds like version 1.0 is a good step in the area of meeting consumer requirements of needing data. I don’t think it is nearly as important to have a energy star logo, as have data that is measured consistently across different servers.

How would you like it if car manufacturers weren’t forced by consumers to use numbers like MPG, HP, Torque ft-lbs, 0-60, lateral g, etc.

I think if the Energy Star group started it’s presentation with the story.

'”As an enterprise consumer I need server performance and energy data to make decisions on what is the right server for our IT loads.”

A lot more people would understand why it is a good thing.