Future Facilities, a global provider of engineering simulation software for data center design and operational planning, has introduced its Assessment Service for The Green Grid’s recently released Performance Indicator (PI). While Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) has been the gold standard for the measurement of data center energy efficiency since its formulation in 2006, it is deficient in several key metrics that can truly gauge how efficiently a data center is operating, notes Future Facilities.
Innovative at its creation, PUE is still useful in measuring energy use in data centers and how corresponding changes affect that score over time. However, while the metric provides an important overview of the energy use in a data center, additional indicators are needed to provide a more precise evaluation of whether the resulting performance meets the business need.
In an effort to develop a broader assessment, The Green Grid brought together a number of industry experts and as a result, the group released the Performance Indicator; a new approach to assessing and visualizing data center cooling performance using three uniquely defined metrics that interact with each other:
- PUE ratio (PUEr) – expressing PUE in relation to intended operation
- IT Thermal Conformance – ensuring the IT operates at suitable air inlet temperatures in normal operation
- IT Thermal Resilience – minimizing the risk of equipment overheat in the cases of redundant cooling system failure and/or planned maintenance
Based on information from the interplay of these PI metrics, data center facility owners and operators can now make more informed choices as they assess their cooling performance. Through its utilization, engineers can:
- Visualize the balance between the metrics and how they interact within the data center
- Set target ranges for each metric based on business needs, IT criticality, and facility design
- Track performance over the facility’s lifetime
- Test and compare operational plans before actual implementation
To calculate these new Performance Indicator metrics, Future Facilities’ PI Assessment Service uses either a combination of measurement and simulation methods, or measurement alone to evaluate current data center performance and the effects that subsequent operational plans will have on it. As a result, data centers of all sizes can use the Green Grid’s new Performance Indicator to gain the most detailed understanding possible of their cooling effectiveness, and make informed decisions to improve efficiency.
“PUE has been, and remains, a useful benchmark for data centers to define their power usage effectiveness and subsequently work to increase energy efficiency,” said Mark Seymour, CTO of Future Facilities and Chair of the Green Grid’s PI white paper. “Ten years later, owners and operators have been looking for the next step to better understand their cooling and identify opportunities to help ensure that their investments in mission critical facilities can confidently deliver maximum capacity for the business effectively and efficiently. The new PI assessment and visualization is a simple, yet revolutionary, tool that goes far toward this goal, and Future Facilities’ new Assessment Service harnesses this innovation to help data centers increase their performance based on the detailed information it provides.”