Did you know that there is an Energy Star certification for servers? More information is at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=ent_servers.enterprise_servers. Did you know that HP had the first Energy Star certified servers (several HP ProLiant servers)?
I attended a stakeholders meeting with the EPA last week to discuss their proposals for Energy Star Tier 2 . It was a productive meeting, and I was there to try and get more servers, such as blade servers and servers with more than 4 sockets to be covered by Energy Star.
However, this brought up an interesting question, particularly for mission critical servers. While some of the requirements are for manufacturing issues, such as efficient power supplies, there are also requirements for power reporting, and likely with Tier 2, active power management. This raises an interesting question. We have recently introduced some power management features in HP-UX 11i v3 (updates 3 and 4, http://h20341.www2.hp.com/enterprise/w1/en/os/hpux11i-power-cooling-overview.html). Some features, such as Green Idle Processors and Green Active Processors (also known as c-states and p-states) can reduce power consumption today and have minimal to no performance impact (ex. <10 ms), except in situations where very fast response time is key. By default, we've disabled the power management settings, since they might potentially impact performance. The EPA will likely require them to be turned on by default if we want to use them for qualification purposes.
Should HP just enable dynamic power management, with little to no performance impact, for all servers? Or should we ship all servers set to have the maximum performance by default, as we do now? What do you think?