PUE Goes Global

The Green Grid today is announcing that leading data center consortiums in the U.S., Europe and Japan have agreed to make Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) "the industry’s preferred energy efficiency metric."

Rich Miller

April 5, 2010

3 Min Read
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Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) continues to grow in influence as a "green data center" metric. And now it's going global. The Green Grid today is announcing that leading data center consortiums in the U.S., Europe and Japan have agreed to make PUE "the industry’s preferred energy efficiency metric."

The agreement (full text here) emerged from a Feb. 2 meeting and represents an unusual global consensus on a benchmark that has become both prominent and controversial. The EPA says the effort will "address the inconsistencies in how data center energy efficiency metrics are applied at a global level." The groups say they hope to use the shared acceptance of PUE as the starting point in developing more advanced metrics that reflect IT workload.

The pact also appears likely to expand the influence of The Green Grid, which also announced that it was tightening ties with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will now serve as a "trusted technical advisor" to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program for rating the efficiency of data center equipment and buildings.

Focus on 'Guiding Principles'
The international cooperation was couched as "an agreement on the guiding principles of data center energy efficiency metrics" involving the Green Grid, U.S. Department of Energy’s Save Now and Federal Energy Management Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Program, European Union Code of Conduct, Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s (METI) Green IT Initiative, and Japan’s Green IT Promotion Council (GIPC).

"This agreement represents a significant achievement, as these organizations continue working to ensure data center efficiency metrics, measurements and reporting conventions can be applied with clarity and consistency at the global level," the Green Grid said in its announcement.

“The ultimate goal is to create a set of globally accepted metrics for data center energy efficiency," said Tom Brey, IBM representative and Secretary of The Green Grid. "One of the first, and perhaps most important factors to successfully achieving this aim is establishing a unity of communication.

Clear Language, Shared Understanding Sought
"The Green Grid is working with organizations around the world to develop a clear and well-defined language for the way we communicate about energy efficiency metrics, which will give us a common measuring stick for all data centers regardless of their location," said Brey. "With that type of consistency, we can start driving behavioral changes in the industry.”

The statement says the groups hope to eventually reach agreement on energy efficiency metrics that measure the actual IT work output of the data center, allowing users to udnerstand the efficiency of both the data center facility and the IT equipment within it. A global task force with representatives from each of the organizations will reconvene later this year to evaluate progress.

Green Grid and EPA Get Closer
The Green Grid today announced that it has established an EPA ENERGY STAR Program Management Office. The office, headed by members of The Green Grid’s Board of Directors, aims to "position the consortium as a trusted technical advisor to the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program."

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