Most companies want to be good corporate citizens and going green is a part of this strategy.
Executives, customers, shareholders and environmental groups are prompting IT managers to look for ways to use less energy. One way to determine and monitor energy efficiency in a data center is by calculating the data center’s Power Usage Efficiency (PUE).
PUE provides valuable insights into energy usage over time. For example, IT managers can calculate where they are today in terms of efficiency. They can get a baseline of operations. Then, recalculating PUE over time shows how the organization is improving its energy usage and increasing efficiencies.
So how is PUE calculated? PUE measures how effectively input power is used in a data center. Basically, it’s a ratio of power available to power used determined in kilowatts (KW). The larger the ratio is from one, the less efficient a data center is from an energy usage standpoint.
Another metric IT managers consider is Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE). The inverse of PUE, DCiE is the ratio of the power used to the power available. This ratio will yield a factor less than one. The closer the DCiE ratio is to one, the more efficient the energy usage.
PUE and DCiE concepts are fairly easy to understand, but not always simple to calculate on an ongoing basis. To enhance green initiatives as well as lower energy costs, many IT managers consider whether to build or lease data center space.
This analysis takes place because improving PUE and DCiE ratios often come at an expense. For example, significant investments may be required in more efficient power distribution units or computer room air conditioning units. In addition, renovating data center space to improve airflow and heat dissipation may be necessary. Greening a data center may also require downtime, which will add to overall costs.
A number of factors must be considered when taking steps to improve energy efficiency. It often boils down to finding an acceptable balance between cost and efficiency. Having the greenest data center operation around is a worthy goal. However, if huge investments are required and funding is scarce, IT managers may have to find an acceptable trade-off.
One option, especially if an organization’s data center is nearing the end of its life cycle, is to migrate to a colocation model. Colocation providers, like CyrusOne, have invested heavily in their data centers. Implementing the latest technologies, practices and processes, a CyrusOne facility offers energy efficiency at levels most organizations would not be able to develop in-house.
Continue here to read the CyrusOne Blog for information about CyrusOne data centers and colocation services.