NRI Papers
No. 171 March 1, 2012
  Standardizing Data Center Energy Efficiency Metrics in Preparation for Global Competition  
Takao SHIINO

To date, Japan's data center businesses have offered services to enterprises and individuals in the domestic market. However, Japan is beginning to see the launch of global competition. In the country-by-country ranking of risks for locating data centers, Japan was evaluated as presenting the world's second highest risk for locating a data center and ranks 19th among 20 leading and emerging markets. The factors identified as major risks include natural disasters and energy costs. Even though major risks were identified for the country as a whole, efforts by individual data center owners and operators can mitigate the identified risks. If international recognition can be obtained on the mitigated risks based on globally standardized metrics, Japan's data centers could attain a competitive advantage.

To measure the degree of preparedness for natural disasters, the Japan Data Center Council established its own Tier Standard. This standard evaluates the extent to which risks were mitigated after considering the specific seismic hazards at the site of a data center.

To deal with high energy costs, it is necessary to promote the improvement of energy efficiency so as to prevent increases in energy costs and to increase the ability to deal with restricted power supplies. To achieve these goals, the Datacenter Performance Per Energy (DPPE) metric proposed by Japan's Green IT Promotion Council is considered effective. In the 2010 measurement project conducted by the Green IT Promotion Council, DPPE values were collected extensively from data centers in production in Japan and other Asian countries. These measurements clarified the current energy efficiency level and potential improvements of each data center. The author hopes that the DPPE metric proposed by Japan will be accepted as the international standard, thereby gaining its global recognition.

There are categories about which Japan's strengths were recognized in the country-by-country comparison of risks for locating data centers. They are political stability and a lack of inflation. These strengths should be highlighted as competitive advantages. At the same time, individual data centers should make respective efforts to fully compensate for identified weaknesses and the results of such efforts should be measured and certified based on internationally accepted criteria. These approaches are necessary to increase the international competitiveness of Japan's data centers.

Contents
I Data Center Business Enters the Era of Global Competition
II Measures Necessary to Improve the International Competitiveness of Japan's Data Centers
III Ways of Improving the Energy Efficiency of Data Centers
IV Globalizing Data Center Energy Efficiency Metrics
V Japan's Data Center Energy Efficiency in 2010

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