The industry organization behind the now-well-known PUE (power usage effectiveness) metric is creating new tools to help data center managers deal with other green concerns, such as their water consumption, energy reuse and overall facility efficiency. The aim of the Green Grid's new initiatives is to help it extend beyond its laser focus on energy efficiency into other areas that must be managed in order for a data center to be considered truly "green." Its new buzzword is "resource efficient."
John Tuccillo, chairman of the Green Grid board, describes the new imperatives as the "harmonization" of ongoing work to help make green management easier for data center operators. Each of these issues, such as water consumption patterns or evaporation needs, is in itself very complex. It is the Green Grid's job to help mask that complexity while providing deeper levels of transparency to the people in the trenches. It scored a victory this week when a number of organizations agreed to use PUE as a metric in their own energy efficiency measurement, including the U.S. Department of Energy Save Energy Now and Federal Energy Management programs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star Program, the European Commission Joint Research Center Code of Conduct, the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Japan Green IT Promotion Council.
To that end, PUE is being joined by WUE, which standards for Water Usage Effectiveness, and closely looks at the use of water for humidification or for cooling purposes; and ERE, which measures Energy Reuse Effectiveness, or the idea that energy might be recovered and reused within the data center. One might expect these metrics to fall into place quickly, given the standing that PUE has earned.
For those of you interested in best practices, there are a whole slew of new white papers being released by the Green Grid this week in order to help data center managers figure out where they stand with respect to the broader issue of resource effectiveness. They include:
- The Data Center Maturity model assessment, which lets you gauge current resource-efficiency
- "Understanding and Engaging Utility Incentive Programs," which provides tips for navigating the rebate and incentive programs that data center managers and facility managers could use to get some money back related to data center efficiency improvements