Measuring IT efficiency at the server level

I’ve long thought we’re headed toward a more granular rating system in the green data center where we can actually evaluate not just the energy performance of the infrastructure (cooling, building operations), but the IT hardware itself. In fact, a recent paper in Nature Climate Change said precisely that the efficiency of the IT equipment (servers, storage, and communications) should be the first line of defense in reducing energy use and improving carbon footprint.
So it was interesting to see data center infrastructure management (DCIM) startup Power Assure roll out the next iteration of its monitoring software which can not only measure the performance of a rack but show individual server performance of every server on the floor. That is a major change and will encourage data center operators to benchmark different servers against one another, particularly when considering a hardware refresh. It’ll be super easy to just switch in one new server and quantify the energy savings versus legacy hardware. It’ll also be possible to test out a few different configurations in an attempt to optimize the best server.
As we move forward the visualization and monitoring technology should improve stepwise in the data center as will the ability to automate rules to shift processing load.  Who knows? We may even see data centers be flexible enough to start seamlessly moving processing load between main and backup, or even toward those servers with the highest energy efficiency.