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The case for the EU’s ‘green’ data centre code

We always welcome and encourage debate on Greenbang – especially when people are prepared to challenge our position and argue their corner. We posted a piece earlier on in the week giving some stick to the EU’s new ‘green’ data centre code and got an excellent response from the British Computer Society’s data centre specialist Liam Newcombe. His comments, in support of the EU data centre code, deserve a wider audience so here’s his take on it:

The DCiE (Data Centre infrastructure Efficiency) is neither new nor invented by the EU. It is an established data centre metric developed by the Green Grid and in common use, with it’s reciprocal the PUE, all over the world by data centre operators. Whilst it is recognised that there are well understood limitations to utility of this and other metrics it currently exists, is well recognised and provides a base for measurement. Further the code requires the energy use data and not simply the metric from participants.

Whilst an operator can select which data centres to include as a participant they are required to meet a minimum standard. It has been our experience that very few operators are in a position to meet the expected minimum practices without changes to their operational processes. Signing up to the code as a participant will require significant changes for most operators. New facilities face a higher minimum standard.

The best practices define not only the expected minimum standard but also many other identified, peer reviewed and agreed energy practices. This provides customers with a formal, objective and effective basis for comparison and assessment of potential suppliers. It is otherwise difficult to determine what is real action and what is marketing.

The best practices contain input and review from the broadest base of expertise and will continue to be developed as technology and practices advance. It is the intent to drive and increase the pace of change in the industry and we have already seen the best practices deliver this in operators trialling the code.

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