Data Center Infrastructure Management: DCiE & PUE
How well do you really understand the power efficiency of your data center? Learning more about the right efficiency benchmarks might help.
The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Data Center infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE) benchmarks were created by The Green Grid IT efficiency organization to help data center administrators/engineers to gain a better understanding of how efficient their data centers are. However, unless you can truly understand the concepts behind the PUE and DCiE benchmarks, while also gathering all the data needed to accurately compute those benchmarks, you can’t possibly hope to benefit from them.
What are PUE and DCiE, and how are they calculated?
The two benchmarks PUE and DCiE are both calculated by comparing the total amount of power consumed by the data center with the portion consumed by power IT equipment:
- Power Usage Effectiveness: Total data center power divided by IT equipment power
- Data Center infrastructure Efficiency: IT equipment power divided by total data center power
DCiE is the reciprocal of PUE, and is expressed in the form of a percentage. The closer the DCiE rating is to 100 percent, the less power the data center is wasting on non-core equipment and processes, and therefore, the more efficient the data center is.
The inverse is true of PUE, which is expressed as a whole number, with a decimal point if necessary. The hypothetical ideal of efficiency for a data center (a data center that wastes no power at all on non-IT equipment or processes) would be a PUE rating of 1; in reality, data centers should strive to get a ranking that is as close to 1 as possible. The higher the PUE rating is, the less efficient the data center is.
How can data centers use PUE and DCiE?
When trying to make the most of PUE and DCiE, data center administrators should first of all learn to accept what these benchmarks are not: when The Green Grid created the benchmarks, the organization never intended for them to be used to compare one data center to another. A data center with a good PUE or DCiE rating is not necessarily better than any other data center; they are simply further along on their path toward achieving greater efficiency.
Of course, this has not stopped many data centers from using their good PUE or DCiE ratings as marketing tools to attract the attention of potential customers. If you already keep track of your PUE and DCiE ratings, making the most of those ratings requires you to resist the urge to brag about them to your customers, because even a high PUE/DCiE rating is not a complete guarantee of data center efficiency. It’s certainly an indicator that your data center is moving in the right direction, but even data centers that score highly on these benchmarks still have the potential to improve their efficiency even further.
It’s also important to remember that PUE and DCiE are not static measurements. Since a data center’s power usage patterns can change greatly between different parts of the day, different days of the week, and different months of the year, PUE and DCiE ratings must also change over time to better reflect the current realities of the data center environment. This means that organizations that hope to make the best of PUE and DCiE should not calculate their benchmarks once and then forget about them. Constant monitoring and vigilance are needed.
MCIS offers better efficiency results through PUE/DCiE monitoring
That’s where Miller Critical Infrastructure Solutions (MCIS) can help. Our dynamic PUE and DCiE monitoring services can help keep you informed about changes in your PUE and DCiE ratings at all times, so you’ll always be aware of changes in your data center’s efficiency patterns as soon as they happen. As a result, you’ll be able to take action to make you data center more efficient, without having to worry about tracking power usage or making the time-consuming PUE and DCiE calculations yourself.
Our team of experienced engineers is ready to help you start driving higher efficiency in your data center, providing 24/7 monitoring that can help you track PUE and DCiE changes as they happen, while also freeing up your own staff to focus their time and efforts on more mission-critical work. We’ll also help you understand what these changes in the benchmark ratings truly mean, giving you real actionable insights, instead of just more meaningless numbers.
Miller Critical Infrastructure Solutions offers various data center monitoring solutions like Asset Tracking and Reporting, Capacity Management, Energy Monitoring, Facility Load Monitoring etc. Contact us to learn more.