Storage Networking Industry Association Announces Initial Green Storage Power Measurement Specification

For Release: 
Storage System Taxonomy and Idle Power Measurement Metric to Provide Guidelines for Standards-Setting Organizations, Governmental Agencies, and Industry Stakeholders

San Jose, CA (January 21, 2009). The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced today the availability for public review and comment its initial Green Storage Initiative (GSI) Green Storage Power Measurement Specification.

The initial Green Storage Power Measurement Specification includes a "Green Storage Taxonomy" for classifying storage products based on energy consumption characteristics and application environments, as well as a baseline standard for idle power metrics which can be applied as a uniform method for collecting idle power consumption measurements.

"This initial release of the Green Storage Power Measurement Specification will play an important role moving forward in helping the storage industry, standards-setting organizations, and global governmental agencies, measure and shape the energy and power efficiency of storage systems," said Leah Schoeb, Chairperson of the SNIA Green Storage Initiative. "The Green Storage Initiative is dedicated to applying the technical and educational expertise of our members to help develop more energy efficient solutions for the IT industry."

"Increased economic and societal pressures provide opportunity for organizations to lower their overall energy usage footprints," said Mark Monroe, director of The Green Grid. "We support the SNIA's efforts to help drive innovation around the development of energy efficient data storage products."

The Green Storage Taxonomy was designed to classify storage systems based on feature criteria for the application environments that they are intended to support. The application environments are divided into 5 categories (classes) ranging from small home/office applications (SOHO) to larger enterprise-oriented applications. The feature criteria for each storage system class are based on the required level of data protection, component redundancy, serviceability, data access time, and range of energy consumption.

"The U.S. EPA welcomes SNIA's leadership and ability to reach across the industry to address the growing energy challenges confronting data center operators across the globe." said Andrew Fanara, of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Product Development Team. "The industry metrics developed through SNIA's Green Storage Initiative will help to quantify energy consumption and identify new opportunities to improve data center energy efficiency."

The storage system categories covered under the Green Storage Taxonomy are; Online Near-Online, Removable Media Libraries, Non-Removable Media Libraries, Infrastructure Appliances, and Infrastructure Switches.

The Idle Power Measurement specification outlines a standard for testing and measuring storage power consumption at idle. The idle power measurements will be reported in raw GB per Watt (GB/W) based on:

  • Manufacturer model number
  • Raw storage capacity
  • Storage media RPM and interface of each type of storage media within the storage device
  • The number of enclosures/systems in the online or near-online taxonomy category
  • The number of tape drives for systems in the removable-media library taxonomy category

Throughout 2009, SNIA's GSI intends to expand the Green Storage Power Measurement Specification to include development of standardized active power measurement guidelines and metrics, standardized storage system power supply efficiency specifications as well as promotion and publication of each vendor's completed test metrics.

The detailed SNIA Green Storage Power Measurement Specification including the Green Storage Taxonomy can be found at: /tech_activities/publicreview/

About the 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 Green Storage Initiative Technical Working Group (GSI TWG) and the Green Storage Initiative. The GSI 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 vendor and user community, and promoting storage-centric applications that reduce storage footprint and associated power requirements.

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 and 7,000 individuals 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