Assessing Data Center Energy

September 17, 2015 By Carl Weinschenk

data center interior Energy ManageData Center Knowledge this week tackled the important but tricky issue of assessing energy usage in a data center. More specifically, the question focused on is how to determine power usage effectiveness (PUE). The challenge is finding a reliable and consistent means of separating power used for IT equipment with infrastructure energy use. The line between usage centers often is fuzzy. For instance, there are mixed-use facilities in which energy is shared between the IT equipment and physical infrastructure.

A three-level approach to PUE calculations is suggested. This consists of establishing a standard for classifying the type of load being assessed; calculating PUE for devices shared between uses and providing estimates for “devices that are impractical to measure.”

Power is vital in Web hosting, because its loss is felt way beyond the facility. For instance, WHIR reported that Web hosting company Hostway this week experienced an outage in its Chicago data center that impacted Web activities for some of its customers. The problem focused on an uninterruptible power supply that experienced a problem that Hostway said triggered safety breakers.

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