DOE to help centers collect data

The Energy Department will soon unveil new tools to help data centers track their total energy consumption.

On June 2, DOE will publicly release a software suite named the Data Center Energy Profiler, or DC Pro. The program will help agencies and industries calculate how energy is being used at data centers and identify potential energy and cost savings.

The resulting data will help develop common metrics and benchmarking techniques so data centers can assess their energy efficiency.

Developing those common metrics is a goal of the National Data Center Energy Efficiency Program, DOE’s joint effort with the Environmental Protection Agency to find the best practices and best available technology to reduce the amount of energy needed to run information technology.

Kathleen Vokes, a member of EPA’s Energy Star product development team, said the government lacks clear data and measurements of data center power consumption. DOE’s DC Pro can help fill that gap.

EPA and DOE are focusing on energy efficiency because IT is becoming a major consumer of power and money.  According to the two agencies, data centers accounted for 1.5 percent of all energy use in 2006.

David Rodgers, DOE's deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency,  said nationwide data center energy consumption could surpass the amount used by  all air travel during the next few years.

“If current trends continue, government spending on power could exceed $750 million annually by 2011,” Rodgers said. He spoke at the Green Computing Summit sponsored by the 1105 Media Group, which owns Federal Computer Week.

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