All data center lay a lot of stress on keep track of energy usage in the data centers. By monitoring the energy, it is easy to narrow down on the devices that will need replacement and the devices that have reached the end of their functioning life. With so much importance given to green practices and governments even giving incentives for green data center practices, data centers have set their own standard to live up to.
Power usage effectiveness (PUE) and data center efficiency (DCE) are two ways to assess the energy usage. PUE is defined as the ration of the power delivered to the data center to the power utilised by the IT equipments. DCE is the reciprocal of this ratio. The value of PUE should be as close to unity as possible.
Through this, we can locate the energy leak in the data center. The difference in the power delivered to the data center and the IT power consumption is due to the additional requirements in the data center such as lighting, cooling requirements, losses in the power distribution and protection units, UPS and battery maintenance etc.
Softwares are available to monitor the total input to the data center and the input available to IT infrastructure. They also record and store the readings over time and provide up-to-date and spot capture PUE values. With this, data centers can save substantial amounts on electricity bills. Also think of the free publicity you will get when you achieve the lowest PUE values. Remarkable, I know.
Data center efficiency, on the other hand, focuses on achieving the highest possible efficiency from all equipments. This is analogous to an over-demanding boss, if I may add. In softwares that calculate data center efficiency, PUE and DCE is recorded for a period of time and is compared with the industry standards to give you an insight on where exactly your data center stands when it comes to effective energy management. Some softwares even suggest ways to improve the efficiency. It is almost like having your own personal data center power management expert. You might want to look up PTS and 42U for more details if you are looking for power management tools.
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