We’re all familiar with those blue and white Energy Star stickers that show us the average energy uses on our home appliances like refrigerators and clothes driers. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released Energy Star specification for servers. The efficiency requirements are a positive step in creating an industry standard to help reduce power consumption.
The focus on energy efficiency isn’t just about being tree-hugger-green, but more about saving green – as in dollars. Limitations on space, power and cooling capacity combined with rising energy costs can give data center managers incredible headaches. IT departments are counted on to maximize compute capacity without expanding their server footprint and to find ways to effectively cool these power-intensive systems—all while working within the boundaries restricted operating budgets.
Dell understands those challenges, so we partnered with the EPA to develop the new energy-efficiency specification for servers. Not only that, but we just released details of its first Dell PowerEdge servers that meet the new Energy Star specifications. In fact, Dell is the first major vendor to certify entire platforms to meet the exact performance per watt requirements with the Dell PowerEdge R610 and R710 server platforms qualifying for the new Energy Star specification.
Our focus on energy efficiency isn’t new and didn’t start with the development of Energy Star specifications. In 2007, Dell introduced Energy Smart to help customers maximize performance per watt for their particular workload and meet operating expense goals. Dell PowerEdge servers with Energy Smart technology include Dell Energy Smart power supplies, Dell Energy Smart system design, Dell Active Power Controller (DAPC), Dell Energy Smart management and high-efficiency processors and memory to achieve the highest performance per watt for standards-based servers.
We build PowerEdge servers with a comprehensive, system-wide approach to balancing performance with energy efficiency by focusing on design, measurement, control and reporting for energy-efficient infrastructures that reduce total cost of ownership.
- Design: The holistic approach follows efficient design principles across electrical, mechanical, and thermal systems and combining them with intelligent component selection.
- Measurement: Real-time, accurate measurements of performance, power consumption and thermals feed into the Energy Smart control algorithms so the system can make intelligent decisions to help optimize performance-per-watt.
- Control: The architecture incorporates firmware running on a high performance baseboard management controller embedded in the system to provide an intelligent, centralized control mechanism to help determine performance-per-watt optimizations.
- Reporting: The architecture incorporates the Dell Management Console powered by Altiris from Symantec provides in-band reporting, while the standard Web Services for Management protocol provides out-of-band reporting to make intelligent performance and efficiency decisions.
I had a chance to catch up with Daniel Bounds, Dell PowerEdge solutions manager and energy efficiency guru, to hear more about the new Energy Star specifications. Here is what he had to say.