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The Green Grid rolls out datacentre efficiency metric to clampdown on PUE misuse

Datacentre efficiency consortium The Green Grid plans to introduce a metric to drive up the accuracy of facility performance measurements during downtime and normal operating conditions

The Green Grid is expanding its role-call of datacentre performance metrics to help operators accurately predict how making changes to their facilities will affect operations.

The Performance Indicator metric is designed to build on the consortium’s Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) measurement to provide operators with a more accurate picture of how downtime affects datacentre performance.

Roel Castelein, Europe, Middle East and Africa marketing chair of The Green Grid, said: “While PUE is an effective step forward to measure current-day energy efficiency, the requirement to calculate cooling effectiveness and the datacentre’s future thermal state is also critical. This will help to establish a more complete view of facility cooling.”

To this end, the measurement will factor in the contribution IT thermal conformance and resilience make to the way a datacentre operates during both normal operations and periods of downtime.

“The Performance Indicator will enable datacentre operators to predict the impact of proposed changes before implementation and choose configurations that deliver the best combination of efficiency, resilience and conformance for the organisation,” the Green Grid said in a statement.

The PUE metric is calculated by dividing the total power consumption of a datacentre by the amount of energy used by the IT equipment inside it, but the final result can be relatively easy to manipulate.

Operators and analysts often share anecdotal evidence about how some firms falsify the results to make their facilities appear more energy efficient that they truly are.

Many have also taken issue with the fact PUE is often seized on by colocation providers as a competitive differentiator, when it was originally intended as an internal benchmark for providers embarking on datacentre efficiency drives.

Read more about datacentre energy efficiency

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Responding to this type of criticism is one of the reasons why The Green Grid is introducing the metric, Castelein said, which is also being ushered in to help providers gain a better understanding of how their facilities use resources.

“The real strength in the Performance Indicator for datacentre operators is its ability to be easily scalable and accommodate additional metrics in the future, as they are defined,” he said.

“This will ultimately increase the scope of productivity for datacentre organisations, as well as preventing the criteria from becoming out-dated for modern datacentre demands.”

Read more on Datacentre energy efficiency and green IT