WP#66 - Analysis of the Server Efficiency Rating Tool

10 November, 2015 | White Paper

Jay M. Dietrich, IBM

Shreeharsha G. Neelakantachar, IBM
Zeydy Ortiz, formerly of IBM
Joe Prisco, IBM
Karthick Rajamani, IBM
David Reiner, AMD
Donna Sadowy, AMD
Gary Verdun, Dell
Henry Wong, Intel

The Green Grid, a consortium that works to improve IT and data center resource efficiency worldwide, analyzed the Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT™) metric data generated by server manufacturers for internal purposes or for their server products to meet the certification requirements of the Version 2.0 ENERGY STAR® specification for Computer Servers.  The Green Grid’s goals were to evaluate the efficacy of the SERT test suite as a tool to assess the energy efficiency of server products and to consider its application and use in developing and setting performance/power efficiency thresholds for server products.

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC®) released Version 1 of the SERT software concurrently with the publication of the Version 2.0 ENERGY STAR Computer Servers Program. Due to this timing, manufacturers had a minimal understanding of how server configuration and component choices would affect the SERT results. The Information Technology Industry Council collected and blinded SERT results from more than 95 machine types/models and 495 configurations. The Green Grid SERT Analysis Working Group analyzed this data to understand the impacts of configuration type and component selection on the SERT efficiency scores.

This white paper details the working group’s findings and provides server manufacturers, regulators, and stakeholders information on the strengths and limitations of the SERT tool for assessing the energy efficiency of server products. It also provides recommendations regarding the use of the SERT in mandatory and voluntary server energy efficiency schemas.