At one time, data center efficiency was a method to measure energy consumption to which many data centers didn’t pay attention. Now, however, as nearly every business has an online component, and, in turn, a data center, data centers need to pay attention. The standard use metric is Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). Here, we’ll answer some of your questions about PUE and how it can improve the efficiency of your data center.
What is the formula for PUE?
PUE is the ratio of energy consumption used overall by the data center versus energy consumed by IT equipment. The equation is as follows:
PUE= Energy Consumed by Power + Lighting + Cooling + Heating + IT/ Energy Consumed Only by IT
From where was the measurement derived?
The PUE measurement was introduced by Green Grid, a non-profit organization aiming to reduce energy consumption around the globe in 2006. The original goal of the measurement was to see how data centers were becoming energy efficient over time.
While Green Grid’s original metric was effective, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) released efficiency metrics for data centers in 2016. The new metrics, mechanical load component (MLC), and electric loss component (ELC), help data centers better monitor PUE.
What is the PUE goal I should be aiming for?
The larger your number, the more energy your data center is using. Your goal in reducing your energy consumption should be to get your energy consumption as close as possible to 1.0. The closer your PUE is to 2.0, the closer your data center is to using an additional kilowatt to support the data center for every IT kilowatt used.
What is my goal after I measure PUE?
Your goal is, if necessary, to make your energy consumption closer to 1.0. You might choose to update your power distribution units (PDUs) or computer room air conditioning units (CRU’s), for example. Other considerations to lower PUE might be improving airflow or making changes to make heat dissipate more evenly.
How can I get started?
Silverback Data Center Solutions can help if you’re overwhelmed with measuring the energy use of your data center or aren’t sure how to improve your energy consumption after you receive your measurement. Our Data Center Facility Evaluations can help you choose IT equipment that is more eco-friendly, while an engagement with one of our highly-trained staff members can help you manage your data center effectively.