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SNIA unveils 'Emerald' power measurement standard

Simon Sharwood

The Storage Networking Industry Association has released a new Power Efficiency Measurement Specification, dubbed SNIA Emerald.

The Storage Networking Industry Association’s (SNIA’s) Green Storage Initiative has released a new standard, called Emerald, which “provides a vendor-neutral power efficiency test measurement set of methods and the SNIA Emerald Program provides an industry-wide repository of measured test data.”

Announced at the Storage Networking World exhibition in the USA overnight, Emerald is available to anyone in the storage industry without the need for SNIA membership although fees will be charged for each test data report assessment. A new website for the program, sniaemerald.com, is already live.

The standard comprises four elements:

  1. A taxonomy that can be used to categorise test results for storage devices.
  2. A test methodology which offers consistent ways to test storage devices, complete with what SNIA calls “load generators and power measurement instruments.”
  3. An ‘Idle Measurement Test’ that SNIA says tests “… storage systems and components which are configured, powered up, connected to one or more hosts and capable of satisfying externally initiated, application-level initiated IO requests within normal response time constraints, but no such IO requests are being submitted.”
  4. An Active Measurement Test that SNIA describes as testing the performance of storage devices “ … when they are processing externally initiated, application-level requests for data transfer between host(s) and the storage product(s).”

Leah Schoeb,Chair of the SNIA Green Storage Initiative, said Emerald will provide “end-users and the industry at-large with a means to test, measure and evaluate storage systems power usage and efficiency, at a time when datacenter energy usage is projected to increase by 19% in 2012 according to the Data Center Dynamics 2011 Census Report.”

SNIA hopes that storage hardware vendors will use the Emerald tools and disclose the results their products achieve as a differentiator.

Craig Scroggie, Chairman of SNIA ANZ commented “The program that SNIA has announced is the culmination of many years of collaboration between the industry manufacturers and represents a significant step forward in helping data centre managers and storage administrators get a consistent view of storage power consumption. Australia and New Zealand customers will benefit from this announcement and it is timely given the recent concerns over the impact of carbon tax legislation.”

The author is a non-executive director of SNIA ANZ.