Enhancing Data Center Efficiency Through DCiE

pue dcie data center interior

Evaluating the energy efficiency of your data center is an important first step in reducing electricity usage and the associated costs. As you deploy more efficiency strategies, this benchmarking is vital for measuring the success of those initiatives.

Two benchmarking standards, Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE) and Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), endorsed by the Green Grid, along with the Corporate Average Data Center Efficiency (CADE) recommended by the Uptime Institute, serve as key metrics for IT professionals to assess and monitor the energy efficiency of data centers. In addition, the Green Grid’s introduction of Data Center Productivity (DCP) and Data Center Energy Productivity (DCeP) during their February 2009 Technical Forum offers insights into the productive output of data centers. Each benchmark serves its purpose, providing valuable tools for enhancing energy efficiency within data centers.

DCiE and Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)

DCiE and PUE offer a comparative analysis of your data center’s infrastructure against its IT load, producing an efficiency score and establishing a framework for ongoing assessments. By regularly comparing new scores with initial benchmarks, managers can track the effectiveness of continuous efficiency improvements, ensuring the operational power aligns with the necessities of the IT equipment and its supporting infrastructure.

To gain meaningful insights, it’s imperative to calculate DCiE and PUE consistently, varying the times and days for data collection. This approach enables actionable insights based on real data, allowing for clear visibility into the improvements brought about by implemented changes.

DCiE and PUE Benchmarking

Benchmarking using Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) or Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE) metrics allows organizations to draw a comparison between the energy consumed by their critical IT operations and the energy expended to maintain these operations — essentially evaluating the power needed to run their IT backbone versus the power used in supporting infrastructure like cooling and power backup systems.

Every piece of IT equipment emits heat. Consequently, in environments densely populated with computer racks and other technological paraphernalia, a significant portion of energy costs is attributed to the deployment of specialized cooling and power systems. These systems are essential to ensure that servers and network equipment remain functional, highlighting that heat management is a critical challenge within data centers, often being a primary contributor to operational downtime.

Data centers represent complex ecosystems, typically managed by distinct strategic teams with specialized focus areas — one dedicated to facility management, overseeing the environmental infrastructure (such as power delivery, cooling, and airflow), and another tasked with the oversight of IT equipment, including servers, storage, and network devices. This delineation of responsibilities ensures a holistic approach to maintaining operational efficiency and reliability.

Facility managers tackle the environmental challenges of running a data center, including optimizing power consumption, cooling efficiency, and ensuring adequate airflow, whereas IT managers concentrate on the deployment, maintenance, and optimization of the IT equipment itself.

DCiE and PUE Benchmarking Frequency

Data centers, with their complexity, often split management duties between facilities (focusing on environmental conditions) and IT (focusing on critical systems deployment). For DCiE and PUE benchmarks to truly reflect efficiency, they must be conducted regularly, capturing data at various times to provide a comprehensive view of the data center’s performance.

A comprehensive understanding of your data center’s energy consumption lays the foundation for identifying and implementing efficiency improvements. Techniques such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis and underfloor air pressure measurements can ensure adequate cooling and adherence to ASHRAE‘s recommended conditions, thereby addressing containment issues between hot and cold aisles.

By accurately measuring the power consumption of IT and infrastructure components, you can calculate your PUE and DCiE, allowing for an industry-standard comparison of your data center’s efficiency against others globally. This benchmarking is not only a tool for current assessment but also a baseline for ongoing improvement and reporting. Subsequent enhancements in energy efficiency, reflected through better DCiE and PUE scores, not only signify reduced operational costs but also a commitment to sustainable practices. As new, more energy-efficient IT assets are introduced, the process of monitoring, implementing best practices, and measuring improvements continues, highlighting the path towards a more efficient and cost-effective data center operation.

Contact Cool Shield

For more information or to receive a quick quote on hot aisle or cold aisle containment, contact Cool Shield today.

Contact Information: