Is this really the same ENERGY STAR that rates appliances and PCs?
Yes, it is the same over-arching program, but a different team tackles the IT products. Their goal is to improve the energy efficiency of products through voluntary participation in programs that define and measure meaningful characteristics of data center equipment. EMC worked with the EPA, other vendors, and organizations like The Green Grid (TGG) and the Storage Networking Industry Alliance (SNIA) to ensure the storage spec was architecturally neutral.
Isn’t ENERGY STAR a U.S.-only program?
While ENERGY STAR originated in the U. S., it has been adopted by governments across the globe. It is also recognized and built into the energy-saving programs in Australia, Canada, the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and Taiwan.
Why do we care?
We care for commercial reasons, reputational reasons, and sustainability reasons. There are three sets of customers who directly request ENERGY STAR products as part of the RFP/tender process: US governments (federal, state and local), Public Sector purchasers around the globe, and many large private sector customers who are concerned about energy use for a number of reasons. In the case of US and international public sector purchasers, both regulations and best practices dictate that ENERGY STAR be an evaluation requirement. Since the ENERGY STAR specification was published in December 2013, we have received RFPs from both US and international governments requesting certified products.
Many of our largest private sector accounts have also begun to state a preference for ENERGY STAR-qualified products. Their motivations may be purely financial, i.e. ensuring they are using products that will minimize their use of energy while meeting their performance needs, or they may also be looking to demonstrate through their purchasing criteria that they have made a commitment to reducing GHG emissions in their operations.
How do products qualify?
The current program only covers block-addressed storage systems in SNIA’S Online 2-4 categories. A product has to meet two sets of criteria. One is a set of requirements on power supply efficiency and the ability of products to monitor and report actual energy used under operating conditions. The second is the execution of a set of tests that evaluate the power draw of a product under a variety of workloads, providing information on the performance/watt and capacity/watt of system configurations.
Do any of our products qualify?
At this time, VNX 5400 and 5600 systems have been through the process and are qualified. Further VNX, VNXe and XIO products are in scope, and have roadmaps for qualification.