Power Assure®, Inc. has announced that it is making its PAR4 Measurement Tool, a software utility which allows users to fully exercise servers, measure power consumption and calculate PAR4 energy efficiency ratings, available for download and use by organizations and individuals entirely free of charge.

The patented PAR4 standard allows hardware vendors to publish accurate, independent energy efficiency figures for their servers, enabling data center managers and IT professionals to select the most energy efficient machines for their application. Furthermore, integrated with various inventory systems, PAR4 measurements can be used to place equipment to the right rack and location in a data center without risk of overloading circuits but maximizing the amount of equipment placed into each rack.

The Absolute PAR4 value provides a simple, easily comparable number representing the computational power actually delivered for each unit of electricity consumed, while the Vintage PAR4 value adjusts that result to take into account the server’s year of manufacture, according to the principals of Moore’s Law. Vintage PAR4 values are allocated to one of four rating bands, BLACK, SILVER, GOLD, and GREEN giving an immediate indication of server efficiency, the value of which, unlike other energy efficiency ratings, is not negated over time.

The PAR4 Measurement Tool provides access to Power Assure’s advanced PAR4 technology without charge, allowing anyone to independently rate the efficiency of a server. To obtain PAR4 measurement results, organizations and individuals only need to provide a plug-in power meter, widely available for less than $20. The PAR4 Measurement Tool and full instructions can be downloaded immediately at www.par4.org.

Power Assure and Underwriters Laboratories provide Certification Services to allow server manufacturers to obtain certified PAR4 measurement results. Certified results may be published and compared, and a sticker or logo representing the rating band achieved applied to the server or used in documentation and promotional materials.

In addition, Power Assure offers a PAR4 Benchmarking System that provides a platform for data center users to perform automated PAR4 measurements for a rack of servers in a wide variety of environments.

“We believe that PAR4 provides critical energy efficiency information for organizations to select their servers, and to determine the true amount of power a server will consume at full load,” said Pete Malcolm, president and CEO, Power Assure. “Formerly PAR4 efficiency ratings were only available to our customers, however, we have become convinced that making this technology widely available will help move the industry faster towards running more efficient servers and data centers.”