China’s data center expansion includes eye on efficiencies

China is working with The Green Grid and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to promote and develop energy efficient data center practices.

Just yesterday, I posted this blog about China’s efforts to ramp up the number of big data centers there. My blog was based on this article by IDG News service reporters Michael Kan and James Niccola. The story, and China’s data center efforts, are both quite interesting.

That said, the story reminded me of an email I got earlier in the month from a spokeswoman for The Green Grid, a global consortium of companies, government agencies and educational institutions focused on advancing resource efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems. You see, in early December, The Green Grid announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), a non-profit established by enterprises and institutes in China working to develop and establish national communications standards.

I saw the release, and thought it interesting. I guess I was heartened by China’s efforts to team with The Green Grid in an effort to improve resource efficiency in business computing throughout China. And now with news that China is aggressively building out data centers, I’m particularly glad that China is working with The Green Grid.

After all, China has the world’s largest population of any country, with more than 1.3 billion. And while the country’s Internet usage, in terms of the percentage of people with Internet access is only about 31 percent – that’s still about 420 million, according to www.internetworldstats.com. (In comparison, there are more than 239 million users in the United States representing about 77 percent of the population). The point: China is a country with plenty of potential for energy efficiency – or energy inefficiency – increases.

By the way, a little poking around and I learned that China’s work with the Green Grid isn’t the country’s first data center energy efficiency endeavor. This time last year (in December 2010) the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory began working with China to help improve the energy performance of the country’s data centers. You can read more about that here.

Basically, Berkeley Lab scientists began working with the China Institute of Electronics and the China Electronics Standardization Institute to share best practices, case studies and other material to help China develop standards and training programs for its industry.

As for China’s work with The Green Grid, the two will collaborate on performing and promoting regional and international standardization while contributing to the establishment of a global information infrastructure. Specifically, the CCSA will collaborate with The Green Grid in its efforts regarding Chinese national and industry standards, and where appropriate, reference work created by The Green Grid, including Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE), Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) and the Data Center Maturity Model (DCMM).

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