Call for data centres to stop using PUE alone

by FM Media
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Enlogic warns that as competition and demand for data centre space heats up, data centre managers need to seriously reconsider how they measure energy consumption.

Power usage effectiveness (PUE) has become a commonly used metric for data centre managers to monitor energy efficiency, but when quoted in isolation it can often portray a misleading picture of a data centre’s overall energy usage, according to Enlogic.
The company is now calling for companies to stop using PUE alone, but in combination with more modern solutions, such as intelligent PDUs, and performance-related metrics to accurately measure energy consumption and enable real energy consumption savings initiatives.
“With the rapid expansion of the data centre industry in Australia, data centre personnel are at a tipping point as they face an uphill battle against energy wastage. Achieving success in this competitive market place is about finding efficiencies and optimising operational costs,” Mike Jansma, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Enlogic, states. “For years data centre managers have been convinced that PUE is the magical metric that will give them this competitive edge – but it’s not.”
While PUE does provide an effectiveness metric of the facility services to the IT equipment; it does not provide any meaning in relation to IT equipment efficiency, and in fact can become quite misleading, Enlogic notes.
Jansma adds: “The potential energy and financial savings that data centres could achieve are entirely overlooked when PUE is used as a single efficiency metric. With the proposed NABERS data centre tool, the most energy efficient data centres can actually reduce overall energy consumption and costs by looking holistically at PUE in conjunction with IT performance per watt type metrics.”
While reducing total energy consumption is ultimately more important than reducing the PUE, many managers are setting their individual and facility performance goals based on improved PUE, not necessarily reduced energy which is harder to quantify, Enlogic notes. The company warns that if key decision makers base their decisions on PUE alone, it could mean paying considerably more than necessary for energy and carbon taxes, despite best intentions to improve carbon efficiency.

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