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A new power measurement standard, UL 2640, to reduce data center costs

 

A new server standard, UL 2640, has just been announced.  The new standard will help data centers more accurately determine and optimize the utilization of server capability in data centers.

UL 2640 is based on Power Assure's PAR4 methodology.  Power Assure is a leading developer of data center infrastructure management software.  PAR4 factors in the age of IT equipment and a measure of server transaction performance, providing a unique way to compare efficiency between servers regardless of age or capacity.  PAR4 is a rating that represents transactions per Watt-second of energy consumption. As the capacity, performance and capabilities increase with every generation of equipment, the PAR4 rating number will be higher. A higher number represents a higher level of performance per watt. This can then be used to better forecast server utilization and power consumption, thus optimizing the efficiency of the data center.

With the introduction of the new standard, IT professionals for the first time can make valid comparison between servers, better calculate total cost of server ownership, and make better decisions about the life and management of their servers.

"UL is giving data centers a powerful new view into measuring and rating a core part of its infrastructure: server performance," said Kevin Ravo, General Manager, Technology and Regulations, High-Tech Business, UL. "Encouraging industry usage of a universal measurement and reporting methodology for evaluating server efficiency is a significant step in helping to reduce data center costs and improve equipment quality."

To calculate server performance using the UL standard, a series of standardized tests must be performed with the equipment.  These tests include:

  • Power On Spike Test - to characterize the initial power surge that occurs when a device is first turned on or plugged in,
  • Boot Cycle Test - to measure the time from the power off state until the device is fully functional and has stabilized at an idle state,
  • Benchmark Test - to determine and classify the overall performance of the server and grant the PAR4 certification in one of the following categories: Green (most efficient), Gold (very efficient), Silver (fairly efficient), or Black (low efficiency).

For more information, contact Kevin Ravo, General Manager for Technology and Regulations.