Here's a roundup of some interesting items we came across in our weekend reading of data center industry blogs.
Your PUE Doesn’t Impress Me - Jack Pouchet of Emerson weighs in on announcements of ultra-low PUEs. "Seriously, your PUE doesn’t impress me much and frankly the rest of the data center community isn’t all that concerned either. Now I am not about to suggest you stop measuring your PUE or stop reporting it internally and to the Green Grid and EPA ENERGY STAR for data centers program. But the constant daily bombardment of my-PUE-is-one-dot-x in the media is not only annoying but for the most part totally useless." Jack doesn't mention eBay, but the timing feels like a reaction to their Project Mercury results. It's not the first time that publicity around a low PUE has prompted discussion about how the metric is used. My two cents: It used to be that companies got critiqued for announcing PUEs that didn't follow Green Grid guidelines. eBay's results were touted in a press release from the Green Grid as an affirmation of the group's best practices. It's the PUE Conundrum - sometimes it seems the only thing more problematic than PUE is every other data center metric.
Coal-Burning Plants Must Reduce Mercury Emissions - KC Mares of Megawatt Consulting takes a look at a regulatory issue. "In December, the EPA carried out its obligation under the 1990 Clean Air Act that coal-fired power plants implement the available technologies to reduce their mercury emissions by 90 percent. Will these new regulations cause electricity prices to increase? Yes, but not likely significantly, as the EPA expects 'small changes' in the average retail electricity rates, noting that the shift to abundant shale-gas will shield consumers.”
Big Data Centers in Top 5 US Construction Projects: An interesting data point on data center construction from Om Malik at GigaOm. "The Utah-based NSA Data Center and the Building 2 (second phase) of Facebook’s Prineville, Oregon data center were two of the five largest construction projects in the United States during 2011, according to Construction.com. The NSA Data Center is going to cost $1.1 billion and Facebook’s project is going to cost $200 million." I suspect there are a bunch of other data center projects out there in the $100 million to $200 million range.
A New Way to Regulate Data Center Events - At the Green Data Center blog, Dave Ohara is thinking outside the box about conference productivty. "At an industry event where people have paid admission fees and/or exhibit fees many sales people think it is their right to sell the attendees. You have little hope of doing anything to get an aggressive salesman to leave you alone. We should have yellow and red cards for attendees to flag fragrant behavior." To extend the soccer analogy: Does a red card mean a salesperson gets banned from upcoming conferences?