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News

Data Centre PUE guideline whitepaper

American Power Conversion (APC) : 13 January, 2010  (Technical Article)
APC has issued a white paper detailing the methods of calculating Power Usage Effectiveness in data centres in order to be in compliance with EU code of conduct on the subject of data centre efficiency
The benefits of determining data centre infrastructure efficiency as part of an effective energy management plan are widely recognised. The metric suggested in the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centre Efficiency, Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) has been widely adopted, but in the course of providing a wide number of energy audits, APC has identified a number of problems when establishing the PUE of specific data centres.

Commonly published data centre efficiency data is not computed using a standard methodology, so the same data centre could demonstrate different efficiency ratings when different methodologies are applied. The result is obviously confusing, and a new White Paper from APC by Schneider Electric identifies the source of the problem and suggests a standardised method for classifying data centre loads for comparable efficiency calculations.

According to Victor Avelar, author of "Guidance for calculation of efficiency (PUE) in real data centers" and a senior research analyst in the Data Center Science Center of APC by Schneider Electric, part of the problem is that real data centres tend to be located within buildings which have multiple purposes. Therefore it can be a difficult task finding either a single point to measure the total data centre input power or the IT load.

This means that the appropriate measurement points to capture all data centre energy use need to be identified as well as the power use of other subsystems which then need to be combined to calculate the total input power. To complicate matters, it might be impractical to obtain some of these measurements and some devices may be shared with other, non-data centre applications.

"Guidance for calculation of efficiency (PUE) in real data centers" provides a list of the various subsystems that need to be included in data centre energy use analysis, along with how the energy use of these subsystems should be incorporated into PUE calculations. The paper also provides practical approaches for determining the energy use of shared devices as well as those that are hard to measure.

The new White Paper #158 is available today and can be downloaded from the APC website
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