Green Grid

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= environmentally friendly virtual computing grids



The Concept

"Most machines use 5% to 10% of available computing power. By utilizing server capacity more efficiently through virtualization, companies can do the same job with 50% to 60% of their existing server population. This translates into major savings in hardware, electricity and cooling.

Virtualization enables IT managers to divide a single server, or multiple servers, into separate environments, each of which can run a different operating system and serve different applications. Virtual machine (VM) "images" can be ported from one physical server to another. Central administrative software can then balance processing loads and allocate storage capacity on an as-needed basis, across multiple virtual machines and physical servers. One or more VMs can take up the slack during a planned or unplanned outage." [1]

The Organization

"The Green Grid is a consortium of information technology companies and professionals seeking to improve energy efficiency in data centers around the globe. The Green Grid takes a broad-reaching approach to data center efficiency focusing on data center "power pillars" that span the gamut of technology, infrastructure and processes present in today's data center environments. The consortium's working focus includes research, standards writing, published studies and continuing education.

Comprised of an interactive body of members who share and improve current best practices around data center efficiency, The Green Grid scope includes collaboration with end users and government organizations worldwide to ensure that each organizational goal is aligned with both developers and users of data center technology. All interested parties are encouraged to join and become active participants in the quest to improve overall data center power efficiencies." (


"IBM will announce Friday a program that will make it possible for its customers to document server energy savings -- and even trade them for cash, if they want, on emerging carbon markets.

How it works: If you take distributed systems -- for instance, x86 servers -- and consolidate them on a mainframe, the move will result in an energy savings. Those savings can be calculated based on reference data, a task that will fall to Neuwing Energy Ventures, an independent firm verifying and trading in energy efficiency certificates.

More specifically, IBM said its ongoing consolidation of 3,900 distributed systems onto 33 mainframes will eventually save the company 119,000 megawatt hours annually. One energy efficiency certificate is issued for each megawatt hour saved per year." [2]


Bill St. Arnaud:

"At the end of the day the big driver for grids and creation of virtual organizations may not necessarily be eScience or eResearch, but the need for universities and businesses to reduce power consumption and earn carbon credits in order to reduce their carbon footprint. IBM has already announced a virtual computing program where universities and businesses can replace their existing physical clusters with a much more efficient virtual machine, while at the same time earning thousands of dollars in carbon credits. I suspect in a very short time you will see many more companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and others offer similar carbon credit initiatives using their various "cloud" computing networks to replace a variety of campus servers such as mail, web, etc etc.

National research funding agencies can play a significant leadership role by including carbon footprint as one of the criteria in awarding funding to groups requesting computation and storage facilities. Already it is estimated that cost of equivalent computational power from services like Amazon EC2/S2 is less than the power consumption alone of a HPC cluster at a university.

But in addition to the energy savings and reduced carbon footprint, any development that encourages the use of virtualized computation and networks will enable a greater flowering of advanced new applications and services built around SOA, Web 2.0 and mashups" (

More Information

All material above compiled from

More Information

  1. Green Broadband
  2. Follow the Energy Computing Grids
  3. Bits for Carbon Trading