Open Data Center Alliance Proof of Concept: Carbon Footprint and Energy Efficiency Rev 1.0 | Open Data Center Alliance

“The ODCA created a sophisticated Usage Model that could definitely help drive data center energy consumption toward cleaner, renewable sources. I like that the full life cycle assessment includes the embedded energy costs of equipment manufacture as this represents a huge portion of energy associated with an asset across its lifecycle. Including transmission losses and asset disposal data makes this a much more accurate picture than the superficial energy consumption models in prevalent use. Adoption of this model would be a fantastic win for all of us.“
--Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards judge

The ODCA carbon footprint and energy efficiency usage model (UM) and proof of concept (POC) project exists to advance the deployment of cleaner and energy efficient enterprise cloud services. Environmental efficiency methods are “integrated” within IT transformation and cloud computing data centers through:

open data center alliance image reduced–Publishing ODCA UM to implement requirements and techniques to measure and manage cradle to grave carbon emissions for cloud services and data centers;

–Offering world POC of UM to demonstrate tangible value through a team from Verne Global, Datapipe, BMW, NAB, Intel, Atos, T-Systems, & The Green Grid.

The POC demonstrated effective techniques for computing and managing aggregate carbon footprint of cloud IT operations across data center operator, cloud service provider, and cloud consumers. Adoption of UM and PoC offers industry leadership and game changing potential to reduce carbon impact of cloud computing, and improve energy sustainability and efficiency of data centers, the ODCA says.

The POC computed the aggregate carbon footprints of Verne Global data center, and apportioned individual carbon emission values to BMW and Datapipe cloud instances. Actual values were recorded for the data center’s renewable power source, and compared with hypothetical carbon emissions assuming a natural gas utility source and a coal utility source. The POC analyzed technical measurements including PUE, IT energy, non IT energy, utility CEF, transmission losses, utility CUE, customer total carbon and customer total CUE. Data center energy usage and carbon emissions were apportioned amongst cloud subscribers, where each uses only a portion of a cloud provider’s data center. Carbon measurements are aligned to business consumption of IT services, helping consumers understand the relationship between consumption and environmental impact. Testing concluded that the UM accurately reflects guidelines to apply in real life, and supports equitable comparisons of carbon footprint of IT services across providers.

Business value accrues from measuring how green cloud service offerings are, making these concepts tangible for customers, and providing techniques and real life implementations to embed energy management and sustainability as an integral component for businesses. ODCA says the POC results demonstrate that organizations from across the cloud ecosystem can leverage Carbon Footprint and Energy Usage Model and requirements today to deploy greener and more energy efficient cloud services, and ultimately optimize enterprise cloud CO2 emissions. POC participants were able to assess, measure, control and manage energy sustainability.

Judges said there is no doubt that large-scale implementation of cloud computing like the model and PoC that ODCA is touting could reduce overall data center energy consumption.