Fair Isaac, the Minneapolis firm behind those FICO credit-rating scores, says it’s joining a coalition of other companies that rely on computer networks in an effort to curb rising energy use by data centers.
The Green Grid is a two-year-old organization whose mission is to make computer data centers more energy-efficient. Other members include such high-tech giants as IBM, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.
“Rather than choosing between data center performance and environmental responsibility, we’re finding ways to choose both,” Fair Isaac CMO Laurent Pacalin said in a statement.
Server farms — clusters of computers that stay on ’round the clock to keep the web and other networks functioning — suck up a huge amount of electricity. One study found these centers were responsible for 1.2 percent of electricity consumption in 2005.
Making data centers more efficient was one of GreenBiz.com’s top “green computing” stories of 2008. One highlight was the Green Grid’s announcement that it wants to develop a “miles-per-gallon” measure for rating data center efficiency.
GreenBiz.com editor Joel Makower tells Red Herring, however, that he doesn’t think the Green Grid’s efforts will result in energy savings. That’s because demand for server bandwidth is likely to outpace any efficiency improvements.
Fair Isaac’s press release also says the company is striving to reduce employee travel and commuting miles, decrease its paper consumption and use post-consumer recycled paper whenever possible.