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Data Centre Power - Itís all about effectiveness!


A collaborative Data centre industry group known as the Green Grid has devised a new metric to determine a data centreís energy effectiveness. Known as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), it is calculated by dividing the amount of power entering an installation by the amount of power used running its computer infrastructure.

The perfect measure of PUE would equal 1, so the nearer the calculated ratio is towards that perfect number, the more efficiently the installation is using its energy. The mechanics of calculating the PUE are quite simple. First take a measurement of energy usage close to the facilityís power meter. If the facility is part of a larger mixed use building or office block ensure that the reading is taken at the point where power is entering the data centre.

Next, take a measurement of the IT equipment load once power conversion, switching and conditioning is completed. Green Grid guidelines recommend that the most useful measurement point for doing this is at the output point for the Power Distribution Units (PDUs) contained within the computer room. By taking that measurement you will arrive at a figure for the total power delivered to the data centre server racks.

The PUE measurement is music to the ears of Theo Spittel, director at Data and Power Solutions, one of the UKís leading 19Ē rack component companies that specialises in providing intelligent monitoring solutions for data centres. Spittel has been preaching the energy effectiveness mantra for some years and amongst his companyís product range are power strips capable of remote KWh monitoring, per-socket-monitoring and exact environmental monitoring.

Spittel said: ďFor some time DPS has been aware of the lack of effective monitoring in data centres and we have been advising data centre managers to install monitored devices in new installations as standard. Of course, installations vary widely but we are confident that we can provide intelligent power solutions to match any requirement, especially retro-fits.Ē

According the Green Gridís figures a typical date centre will record an average PUE of 2.5, meaning that for every 2.5 watts coming in the installation only one watt is actually delivered to the IT load. Spittel estimates that by using the most efficient equipment and by employing best practices the PUE average can be slashed to 1.6, considerably reducing the installationís power bill and even with a retro-fit paying back for the cost of installation within a very short period.


 data and power
 electricity monitoring
 remote monitoring

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