The Road to Green Data Centers: Part 1

The concept of “greening” is everywhere lately, but is there a place for it in data centers? You bet. In fact, power usage is a major focus in the years to come. CommScope’s Victor Lopes talks about it in Part 1 of his green series.

Green Data Center Part 1With organizations investing in greening their data centers, efficiency and power usage effectiveness (PUE) will soon become a major focus.

PUE measures how efficiently a data center uses energy; especially when it comes to computing equipment -- in contrast to cooling and other overhead infrastructure. It has become the industry’s preferred metric for measuring data center infrastructure efficiency.

Benchmarking your data center’s efficiency is the first step toward reducing power consumption and related energy costs. This enables you to understand the current level of efficiency in the data center. As you implement additional efficiency best practices, it also helps you change the effectiveness of those efficiency efforts.

Comparing the PUE across the regions and countries is difficult because there are many variables within each environment. According to a Data Center Knowledge Special Report, for example, many data center operators in Scandinavia have been able to achieve PUE as low as 1.3 (the average is 1.9). This is possible since they make the effective use of free cool air available in their environment.

India, although hot and humid, has been increasing its efforts towards lowering its PUE. Some of the large production data centers have achieved a lower PUE and are now targeting an overall average PUE of 1.3 within next few years. This proves that with the right approach, reducing the PUE is possible even in the extreme heat of India.

Of course, with the “greening” of data centers, there are other factors that affect PUE. We’ll analyze some of them in the second part of this blog series. Stay tuned. In the meantime, what is the PUE in your data center?