An announcement from Emerson Network Power hit my email box a week or two ago saying they were offering the first (and "only") data center infrastructure management financial evaluation tool, and I naturally was curious to see what they had come up with.
If the tool had solid calculations predicting energy efficiency gains, it might be suitable to support utility energy efficiency incentive program applications.
Sorry to say that I haven't yet gotten a good look at the tool, or been able to ask questions about the underpinnings of the program. (You have to contact Emerson to get an evaluation using the tool, and though I spoke with company representatives at Teladata"s Technology Convergence Conference last week, I neglected to ask them for a test drive.)
I'm guessing that utilities will still have to rely on actual before and after measurements of conditions in a data center where DCIM tools are implemented given the complex nature of the energy savings opportunities.
After all, DCIM technology can generate efficiencies in a half dozen or more ways, in combination with other measures. For example, asset management features can lead an IT manager to distribute IT equipment more homogeneously on an electric load basis, allowing for lower airflow requirements and possibly less stringent environmental conditions.
DCIM can support the implementation of a host of airflow management solutions, from a simple re balance through tile management, to direct control of variable speed fans in CRACs or CRAHs.
Given that energy savings are likely to be a significant portion of making a case for DCIM projects, I'm sure Eaton's tool must make some assumptions. I know it must be part of the package as a screen shot of an opening window of the ROI calculator asks for the local energy price!
I'll be on the lookout for calculation tools that evaluate DCIM to see if any could seamlessly mesh with utility program requirements, but I expect that evaluation tools will make broad assumptions that would still require at-the-site metering and monitoring to qualify.