How do you measure the value of your datacenter's work?

Measuring the value of the work produced in your datacenter vis a vis the energy consumed is critical in evaluating datacenter efficency.

As I've said before, the biggest flaw in all of the datacenter efficiency standards and benchmarks is that they provide no metric for evaluating the actual work produced by the energy expenditure.  I can get a great rating on most benchmarks if I start turning equipment off; it reduces my energy budget and makes me look much greener.  And from that perspective there are energy management systems for the datacenter that pretty much do just that; shunting power where it's required and optimizing power delivery.

The Green Grid, purveyors of the PUE and DCiE benchmarks, have a solution for this, the DCeP benchmarking standard (Data Center energy Productivity metric). The simple mathematical expression for the benchmark is :

Useful Work Produced / Total Data Center Energy Consumed Producing this Work

So the goal is to evaluate the efficiency of the datacenter by measuring the amount of work that is being produced for the energy expended. The white paper that the Green Grid has produced goes into significant detail on measuring the quality of the work produced, which is the key to making this a viable, and valuable benchmarking metric.

The difficulty in actually producing this benchmark appears to be significant; the white paper describing this benchmark metric is over two years old now, and while it was a part of last week's Green Grid EMEA webinar last week, there still seems to have been little movement in getting this standard promulgated. What do you think it will take to make this standard work in your datacenter?


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