I’m reading a lot about data centers of late – so much so that I’m even spelling it the US way already (sigh). What is becoming increasingly clear to me though is that PUE may well be the new battleground between some of the industry heavyweights.
In very basic terms, PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) is the ratio of power incoming to a data center to power used. The theoretical ideal is 1.0 of course which means you’re not wasting any energy. As Mike Manos points out this is all part of the “Industrialization of IT” that he and our GFS team works on. Google and Sun have both been waxing lyrical about PUE of late with some impressive numbers, particularly from Google who cite a PUE of 1.13 in one datacenter. Very impressive indeed.
This led me to look at the table in Manos’ post a little more closely where I noticed a PUE of 1.11 for our shiny new Chicago facility but that goes up to 1.22 when you add mechanical.
As Mike points out though
For the purists and math-heads out there, Microsoft includes house lighting and office loads in our PUE calculation. They are required to run the facility so we count them as overhead.
My takeaway is that PUE is something that customers, regulators and environmentalists are going to start looking at with much more scrutiny over the coming years. Don't’ be surprised to seeing this stuff show up on earnings reports and annual reports. For it to have any real value though, we need to get to some sort of consistent measurement.