by Anton Shilov
04/16/2006 | 03:51 PM
Sun Microsystems, a leading maker of servers, as well as Advanced Micro Devices and several other companies said they were designing a metric that is to measure how energy efficient servers are.
“Similar to the miles per gallon metric used by many in their decision to purchase a car, this metric will enable those purchasing servers to evaluate energy consumption in a standardized way, for the first time,” the companies explained.
Once defined, the proposed metric will enable IT purchasers to conduct side-by-side, industry standard comparisons for energy efficiency in servers, similar to benchmark measurements such as SPEC and TPC widely used today to evaluate system speed and processing power. The formal metric resulting from the conversations started at this working group is expected to be made public in summer 2006.
Personal computers and servers have been gaining computing power rapidly throughout the history. But in addition to performance, their power consumption and heat dissipation have been increasing tremendously, which means that operators of servers have to design appropriate cooling technologies and pay higher electricity bills. In recent months, several key industry players, such as Google, have publicly recognized the impact of rising energy costs on their bottom line. With the number of users on the Web expected to rise by 300 million per year into the foreseeable future, even small improvements in web server energy efficiency hold the promise of massive savings.
“This is the right time for the industry to act on this important issue, and the impact will be felt for years to come. These critical issues of power and cooling in the data center are at the top of the agenda for our customers and other companies spanning multiple industries. Sun’s initial steps to address these issues through our energy-efficient servers are only the beginning of a new awareness in our industry of how technology can do its part to save resources and have a positive impact on the environment,” said Edward Hunter, director for Sun’s Eco Responsibility Initiative.