SNIA Green Storage Initiative Unveils SNIA Emerald™ Power Efficiency Measurement Specification and SNIA Emerald Program

For Release: 
Result of a Three–Year Technical Effort Establishes Industry Baseline for Storage System Energy Usage Reports

SNW, Orlando, Florida (October 10, 2011) — The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Green Storage Initiative (GSI) today announced the availability of the SNIA Emerald™ Power Efficiency Measurement Specification which was developed collaboratively among more than 25 member companies. Additionally, the GSI announced the SNIA Emerald Program. In combination, the SNIA Emerald specification provides a vendor–neutral power efficiency test measurement set of methods and the SNIA Emerald Program provides an industry–wide repository of measured test data.

“The SNIA is proud to deliver the SNIA Emerald program to a global IT industry and national bodies concerned with energy efficiency,” said Leah Schoeb, chair of the SNIA Green Storage Initiative. “We are providing end–users and the industry at–large with a means to test, measure and evaluate storage system power usage and efficiency at a time when datacenter energy usage is projected to increase by 19% in 2012 according to Data Center Dynamics 2011 Census Report [1].”

The SNIA Emerald Power Efficiency Measurement Specification consists of the following elements:

  • Taxonomy: An industry–wide means of segmenting storage systems for products that span the range from consumer solutions to enterprise configurations that will be used to categorize the test results.
  • Test Methodology: A detailed and consistent means of testing various types of storage systems with load generators and power measurement instruments.
  • Test Metrics – Idle Measurement Test: The idle test applies to storage systems and components which are configured, powered up, connected to one or more hosts and capable of satisfying externally initiated, application–level initiated IO requests within normal response time constraints, but no such IO requests are being submitted.
  • Test Metrics – Active Measurement Test: Testing of storage products and components are said to be in an “active” state when they are processing externally initiated, application–level requests for data transfer between host(s) and the storage product(s).

The SNIA Emerald Program website will provide the industry with the resources needed to learn about, evaluate, test and submit storage system power usage and efficiency test results acquired by using the SNIA Emerald Power Efficiency Measurement Specification. The Program is available to the industry at large, without requirements of membership. Upon public unveiling of the SNIA Emerald Program website, both SNIA GSI members HP and IBM will have submitted test results for their respective storage systems commonly found deployed in data centers around the world.

“The EPA ENERGY STAR program is very supportive of the SNIA work on the storage system taxonomy and the test measurement methods contained within the SNIA Emerald Power Efficiency Measurement Specification,” said Robert J. Meyers, Data Center Products Lead, EPA ENERGY STAR. “They form an excellent starting point in the industry effort to understand and improve storage system energy efficiency. Additionally, the data generated using the Emerald test method will help drive a wider industry discussion on energy efficiency, testing methods, and efficiency metrics.”

Storage system manufacturers and industry testing labs can download the SNIA Emerald Power Efficiency Measurement Specification from the SNIA Emerald website. SNIA also recommends downloading the SNIA Emerald User Guide that provides step–by–step guidance on how to setup a test and measurement environment for a storage system under test, and then submit measured test results to the SNIA Emerald Program. Once submitted test results are approved for public posting, manufacturers will obtain a SNIA Emerald Program logo to highlight their program participation. In turn, the industry at–large can view the posted test results of various storage systems and review products that underwent the SNIA Emerald testing requirements. For transparency, the specification and program test report address disclosing configuration information for the system under test about energy–saving storage capacity optimizations that the system may have utilized including features such as deduplication and thin provisioning.

“It is important for the industry at–large to have insight, awareness and agreement on how to best measure a storage device’s energy effectiveness to support a given usage scenario,” said Greg Schulz, StorageIO and author of The Green and Virtual Data Center and Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking. “The SNIA has done significant prep work and test measurement validation to sort through the numerous ways of creating a recipe for success that meets the needs of both IT customers, vendors, VARs and service providers. In addition, the SNIA Emerald Program is providing storage providers and IT consumers a consistent and structured framework to review and evaluate the test results.”

At SNW, the SNIA GSI is delivering three educational sessions on storage and energy efficiency as follows:

  • Monday, The SNIA Emerald Program: A Tool for Measuring and Reporting Storage System Energy Efficiency
  • Tuesday, SNIA Tutorial: Green Storage Products Efficiency with Energy Star, SNIA Emerald Program & Beyond
  • Wednesday, SNIA Tutorial: Green Storage Technologies Overview.

For more information on the SNIA Emerald program, specification, test results and its policies and procedures, visit

About the SNIA Green Storage Initiative
SNIA’s Green Storage Initiative (GSI) is dedicated to advancing energy efficiency and conservation in all networked storage technologies in an effort to minimize the environmental impact of data storage operations. SNIA’s Green Storage activities take place in two separate working bodies, the SNIA Green Storage Technical Working Group (TWG) and the Green Storage Initiative. The TWG is focused on developing test metrics by which energy consumption and efficiency can be measured. The Green Storage Initiative is focused on creating and publicizing best practices for energy efficient storage networking, educating the IT community, and promoting storage–centric applications that reduce storage footprint and associated power requirements. The members of the GSI, as of October 2011, include EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, LSI, Oracle, NetApp, Qlogic, Seagate, VMware, and Xyratex. For more information about SNIA’s Green Storage Initiative, visit

About the SNIA
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is a not–for–profit global organization, made up of some 400 member companies spanning virtually the entire storage industry. SNIA’s mission is to lead the storage industry worldwide in developing and promoting standards, technologies, and educational services to empower organizations in the management of information. To this end, the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education, and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For additional information, visit the SNIA web site at

[1] 2011 Data Center Industry Census, September 2011, DatacenterDynamics

SNIA Emerald is a pending registered trademark of the Storage Networking Industry Association.


Dan La Russo

Ogilvy Public Relations for the SNIA

Mobile: 720-840-8254