Data Center

The Green Grid Data Center Maturity Model brings benefit to Data Center Management

The Data Center Maturity Model (DCMM) was launched by the Green Grid in February 2012. The model provides clear goals and direction for improving energy efficiency and sustainability across all aspects of the data center. It touches upon major components of the data center including power, cooling, compute, storage, and networking. In addition, the levels of the model outline current best practices and a 5-year roadmap for the industry. DCMM enables data center managers to forecast the relative maturity and performance of their data centers against peer facilities worldwide. Its value to the data center management community has also been highlighted in DCIM presentations from The 451 Group and Schneider Electric.

Speaking at Data Centres Europe 2012 in Nice, Green Grid Chairman and President, John Tuccillo said that DCMM “breaks out against two groups, IT and the Facilities, and it gives the opportunity to forecast the performance of your data center in various ‘what-if’ scenarios… to challenge the performance of your data center against other similar facilities around the globe; size, architecture, age, environmental conditions you may be operating within.”

According to John Tuccillo, if data center owners and operators were to login to use the various tools which the Green Grid is offering, within 20 minutes they would be able to see the relative maturity of IT infrastructure as well as facilities infrastructure of their data centers against various ‘what-if’ scenario targets, arming them for a conversation with their CEO or CFO.

“So, for example, if you wanted to make a business case for improving the efficiency of your data center by x%, DCMM provides the tools to plot a course to achieve the savings using a tool called the Green Grid Data Center Maturity Model Equalizer: Here’s the target; here’s the resources I require to get to this point; and this is what the expected return on investment would be. It’s a way to improve communications between data center management and the C suite; you can now have an intelligent conversation about business objectives, financial responsibility. It gives you a way to quantify the environmental sustainability of the data center against its relative maturity.”

DCMM has seen aggressive pick up around the globe, notably in Europe, where the model was first launched. And it’s showing excellent levels of utilization so far. For example there are a number of enterprise class data centers who are using the model as a means of having an ongoing conversation with their end user customers. Colos and hosting facilities now have a means of demonstrating what their true value is.

John Tuccillo said, “We’re seeing a lot of mid-size data centers using the Model because it provides a resource which they never had before to quantify their performance against a variety of business targets.”

The DCMM is structured so that the data collected can remain confidential to the owner. One of the early issues encountered regarded the sensitivity of the data being collected, data center owners and operators recognised that this was potentially competitive intelligence. However, the DCMM allows users to keep data to themselves, so that they can choose to populate the model and socialize their data only if they wish to. “It’s an opt-in rather than an opt-out,” John Tuccillo said. “You don’t have that choice within the Energy Star program, nor within the EU Code of Conduct. With the DCMM you can compare your data in an anonymous fashion against the model worldwide.

So are owners and operators choosing to share? The answer is an emphatic yes according to Tuccillo, “The pick up for data sharing has been far ahead of expectations, largely because the data is ‘anonymized’. However, data centers can put their identity in the public domain and start to share information under the umbrella of the Green Grid. Like everything that the Green Grid does, the tools are free to use and you don’t have to be a member of the organization to utilize them. You can go online today, access the tool and start to populate it with data.”

As an example, John quotes Dean Nelson of eBay who used the DCMM in conjunction with the Green Grid’s PUE metric as principal guiding resources for the design and construction, request-for-proposal (RFP) process, and server optimization for the company’s “Project Mercury” Data Center in Arizona. There is a case study which describes how he did this which is available for free download from the Green Grid website.

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