Measuring the work your datacenter does

New technologies have given us the ability to create a more energy-efficient datacenter that still gets the work done.

While there have been many advances in technology and process that have resulted in the ability to create a datacenter that was more energy efficient, the bottom line has always been that the datacenter still needs to get work done. And a true metric of efficiency needs to be aware of the workload and provide some evaluative method that defines the efficiency of the datacenter in the simple model of comparing what goes in to what comes out.

After five years of work, a global taskforce has released their final set of recommendations. This task force, consisting of representatives from: The Green Grid Association; U.S. Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now and Federal Energy Management Programs (March 2009 – October 2012); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program; European Commission - Joint Research Centre, Data Centres Code of Conduct; Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; and, Japan’s Green IT Promotion Council focus was on determining directions to improve the key energy efficiency metrics used within datacenters. Their final result is the Data Center Energy Productivity (DCeP) metric which is designed to provide a quantifiable measure of the amount of work a given datacenter is accomplishing.

The DCeP builds on previous work by the task force and the green Grid, and in fact, requires the understanding and usage of earlier established metrics. At this time that means operators will need to have the ability to make use of a series of existing metrics:

  • Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)
  • Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE)
  • Green Energy Coefficient (GEC)
  • Energy Reuse Factor (ERF)

Details on all of these metrics can be found on the Green Grid website.

Combining this information with a detailed knowledge of the workload being sent to the datacenter allows the operator to make use of the DCeP formula:



More details on DCeP and related infrastructure metrics can be found here.