Green Grid Publishes Data Center Efficiency Metrics

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-02-05 Print this article Print

The 2-year-old consortium of data center-related technology companies took a major step in defining the power-usage performance of a data center by publishing its first energy-efficiency reporting guidelines.

SAN JOSE, Calif.-The Green Grid, a mere toddler at age 2, is beginning to put its permanent imprint on the IT industry.

No other corporate or industry group has yet been able to define scientifically-to the satisfaction of a majority of IT professionals-how to measure the performance of a data center in power usage and cooling efficiency, and also how it treats the environment with its carbon footprint.

The consortium of data center-related technology companies took a major step in that direction Feb. 4 by publishing its first data center energy-efficiency reporting guidelines at its second technical conference here at the San Jose Marriott.

Quantifying the power efficiencies of a data center may appear to be something pretty esoteric, but rest assured, it is all very scientific.

There are two metrics, which are now beginning the lengthy process of becoming international industry standards:

  • Power usage effectiveness (PUE): This is a ratio of total facility power divided by IT equipment power. Ideally it should be less than 2-to-1; the closer to 1-to-1, the better.
  • Data center infrastructure efficiency (DCiE):  DCiE is a percentage: IT equipment power x 100, divided by total facility power. The bigger the number, the better. A data center's DCiE should never be more than 1.

The Green Grid, which consists of 211 member companies and features board members from Microsoft, Intel, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and four other top-tier corporations, also launched a new educational offering for members called New Data Center 2.0.

This is a program designed to provide the IT industry with a multiyear set of design guidelines for data center operators and designers, so they can build and/or run more energy-efficient data centers.

"We're basically saying, 'Here's the playbook, now go build off of it. Start today by changing your mental processes and start thinking differently,'" Dan Azevedo of Symantec, chair of the Green Grid's metrics committee, told about 300 attendees at the conference.

In addition, The Green Grid released a list of new white papers, which can be downloaded free of charge.

Topics include "PUE Scalability," "Proxies for Estimating Data Center Productivity" and "Using Virtualization to Improve Data Center Efficiency."

eWEEK has written quite often about the latter topic. Go here for links.


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel