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May 18, 2009

EPA serves up new energy star ratings

Server boxes rated for energy efficiency

By CBR Staff Writer


The US Environmental Protection Agency has finally come out with a scheme to rate servers with its Energy Star energy efficiency logo. 

Computer servers that earn the Energy Star will be, on average, 30% more energy efficient than standard servers, the EPA has said. 

Energy Star and other schemes like the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) system have proved popular with IT departments wanting to measure the energy footprint of their IT estate. 

To date they have been used to rank desktops, notebooks and monitors against a range of energy usage and environmental criteria, but perversely there has been no equivalent system until now for bigger more power-hungry servers. 

Servers can consume energy at an alarming rate. A single server may use as much electricity as six domestic fridges and it is estimated that a medium-sized data centre of 1,000 servers can be responsible for 3,500 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The Energy Star rating assesses the performance of a server’s power supply, the qaulity of its power management system, and the power draw and idle power draw, among other criteria.

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The EPA estimates that if all servers sold in the US over the coming year met its new specification, then energy cost savings would total $800 million and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to those from over one million vehicles.

The body is said to be working on a similar classification system for storage systems.



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