In 2010, the Green Grid identified the need for a comprehensive model of what could and should be done in the data centre to improve overall energy efficiency and sustainability. As a result it has developed the Data Center Maturity Model (DCMM) and has released a paper to clarify and support the use of the model.
The DCMM covers all the main areas of the data centre, including power, cooling, computing, storage and the network, and provides descriptions of levels of maturity within each area so that operators can benchmark their current performance against the model. It also identifies the steps to take to achieve the next level of energy efficiency and sustainability.
The levels of the model reflect both current best practices
and a five-year roadmap for the industry. The initial levels (0 to 2) chart the progress of a data centre, be it underperforming or state-of-the-art. Levels 3 to 5 represent future capabilities toward which the industry should collectively move. An optimistic timetable for achieving Level 5 maturity is five years.
The expectation is that state-of-the-art data centres
(green line) will progress from Level 2 today to Level 5 by 2016, typical data centres (amber line) will move to Level 3, and underperforming data centres (red line) will lag at Level 2. The Green Grid is encouraging organisations to move through the levels of the maturity model as soon as feasibly possible, taking into account business and site constraints.
Companies assess their own data centre efficiency, mapping progress with the Data Centre Maturity Model Equaliser across the various aspects of the model. Addressing the different aspects enables managers to understand the relative progress, the best opportunities for improvement and where resources should be focused.
It sounds like a useful and well thought out model, providing the means to break down the level of maturity in some detail whilst also setting sites on what data centres should be able to achieve in five years time.
The potential problem is that it might be seen as just another set of rules to beat data centre managers with. But The Green Grid emphasises that this is a maturity model, something with which to map progress, so does not conflict with more prescriptive programmes such as the EU Code of Conduct for data centres. We shall see.