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Data Center Design

Power Usage Effectiveness In Data Centers

Power Usage Effectiveness In Data Centers

Refer to our latest article on Understanding Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) in Data Center Design for a more detailed explanation of PUE.

The Green Grid Association is a non-profit consortium of information and communications technology, and its main goal is to:

  • Establish standardized metrics.
  • Provide risk assessments.
  • Help organisations to build a cost-effective business across ICT infrastructure.

This organisation established one of the key metrics when analysing how efficient is our Data Center, Power usage Effectiveness (PUE).

Power usage Effectiveness (PUE) in Data Centers

PUE criteria, was published in 2016 as a standardized metric under ISO 30134-2:2016.

PUE is a ratio of total amount of power used by the data center as whole to the power delivered to all the IT equipment. A PUE of 1 would represent the ideal scenario, the perfect efficiency. All energy is used by the IT equipment.

There are four recommended categories for the PUE measurement within a data center facility:

IT Energy Measurement
UPS OutputUPS OutputPDU OutputServer Input
Definition of IT Energy Peak IT 
 Elec. Demand
IT Annual EnergyIT Annual EnergyIT Annual Energy
Definition of Total EnergyPeak Total
Elec. Demand
Total Annual EnergyTotal Annual EnergyTotal Annual Energy

This metric is useful for the companies as it allows them to see how much power the data center is used for a given IT item.

Inversely, the DCIE (Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency) is a metric also used to evaluate energy efficiency of the data center.

PUEEfficiency LevelDCIE
3.0 Very Inefficient33%
2.5 Inefficient40%
1.2 Very Efficient83%

Efficient Data Center: Parameters affecting PUE and DCIE

  • Utilization rate of the data center. Facilities not completely occupied by IT equipment would have higher PUE.
  • Efficiency of the Data Center IT equipment itself. IT equipment is able to handle greater workloads with less power consumption.
  • Design of the facility and age of it.

Here it is a common efficient Data Center Design PUE:

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