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Intel and Microsoft plug into the Green Grid

Group adds muscle and white papers

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Exclusive Come Monday, the elusive Green Grid consortium that focuses on the energy consumption of data centers will announce the acquisition of two industry heavyweights - Intel and Microsoft, The Register has learned.

Up to this point, the Green Grid has been looking very, um, green with nothing of substance coming out of the group. In fact, the Green Grid won't even turn into an official organization until next week's announcement, despite the thousands of stories you've already seen in the press suggesting the group was alive and kicking.

On Monday, the group with members such as AMD, Sun Microsystems, Dell, HP and IBM plans to discuss its charter and structure to those who will listen, according to our sources. It will also pump out three white papers aimed at CIOs, data center chiefs and building managers.

Green Grid officials aren't talking on the record about these moves just yet, as they've sworn the press to secrecy until Monday's announcement. But, we can reveal that the group's board of directors will include AMD, APC, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Rackable Systems, SprayCool, Sun Microsystems, and VMware.

The first word on the Green Grid appeared way back in April of 2006. At that time, AMD was leading the push to align a wide variety of vendors around the common goal of reducing data center power consumption. The vendors hoped to supply customers with so-called "best practices" for creating more efficient data centers.

It was impressive to see competitors such as Sun, IBM, HP and Dell make peace and appear together in Green Grid marketing material. But the organization lacked any real muscle without Intel's, and to a lesser degree Microsoft's, participation. The processor makers who once threatened us with chips as hot as the surface of the sun own the most prominent position in this race to improve data centers.

Incidentally, the dateline on Green Grid statements has moved from AMD's home in Sunnyvale to Portland - the organization's official HQ. One giant leap toward operational efficiency?

As mentioned, thousands of Green Grid stories have been written without the organization really doing much of anything to this point. Our sources indicate that Green Grid backers have thus far struggled to woo large customers with their pitch because of bureaucratic inefficiency and the absence of Intel and Microsoft.

And now, ten months later we get a charter and some white papers. . . .

The Green Grid, blessed with government support, could end up providing customers with some decent tools and advice around lowering their power costs. And it's refreshing to see all the big boys combine around this common goal.

So, here's hoping that the additions of Intel and Microsoft will really get the thing moving. Lord knows it could use a boost. ®

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