New metric to assess data centre cooling performance launched by The Green Grid


The new addition to the metric family builds on the success of PUE with its focus on power ratios (PUEr) to include IT thermal conformance and resilience to demonstrate performance during both normal operations and in failure scenarios. The Performance Indicator will enable data centre operators to predict the impact of proposed changes before implementation and choose configurations that deliver the best combination of efficiency, resilience and conformance for the organisation.

Commenting on the development of the Performance Indicator, Roel Castelein, EMEA marketing chair of The Green Grid said, ‘The desire to maintain and improve data centre performance is a key objective for the data centre operator. The added demands of availability, capacity and sustainability placed on the data centre have left many operators searching for a comprehensive understanding of their facility.

‘Rather than completely build the Performance Indicator metric from the ground-up, the metric has been created to address the most critical aspects of a data centre’s cooling performance. While PUE is an effective step forward to measure current-day energy efficiency, in order to establish a more complete view of facility cooling, the requirement to calculate cooling effectiveness and the data centre’s future thermal state is also critical.’

The latest metric has been built off existing models also created by The Green Grid, including The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and the Productivity Indicator. Currently, the PUE metric is most commonly used to assess the data centre’s resource demands and has been a positive tool for large organisations in achieving improved industry energy efficiency targets. However, the absence of any other viable metric has opened the door to criticisms centring on its inability to account for other important aspects of performance.

To address these concerns and better understand a data centre’s performance, the Performance Indicator combines three key metrics: PUE ratio, IT Thermal Conformance and IT Thermal Resilience. These metrics were developed to adequately reflect how equipment is cooled during normal operation, maintenance conditions, and failure scenarios to ensure that the assessed facility maintains its ability to house and protect IT equipment throughout its life. Additionally, using these metrics will allow data centre operators to visualise the impact of changes they make to maintain acceptable thermal performance, while improving energy efficiency.

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