When you see or listen to talks about energy efficiency of data centers, the things that first pop into your mind are Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCIE). Focusing on energy efficiency is critical because, the largest amount of capital spent for any data center is for power. With increasing energy costs, most data center admins have started focusing on optimizing its power usage using PUE and DCIE.
But before they could proceed to do so, it is vital know what their current levels of energy efficiency are. The tools discussed here will shed light on their current energy efficiency levels and with the help of these tools, data center admins will be able to tweak their configuration to reach optimum levels of efficiency. Before going through the tools, here is a quick look into the basics of these two factors.
PUE or Power Usage Effectiveness is calculated by dividing the total facility power (TFP) by total IT equipment power (ITEP).
PUE = Total Facility Power / IT Equipment Power
The typical value of PUE lies between 1.2 and 2.5. The DCIE is inversely proportional to the PUE value.
DCIE = 1 / PUE
So if a data center has a PUE of 2.5, then its DCIE would be 40%. What this means is while the data center is dissipating 40% of its power delivered, the rest 60% of energy is dissipated by the IT equipments.
1. APC’s PUE/DCIE Calculator
APC or American Power Corporation’s PUE and DCIE tool is one of the most exhaustive and comprehensive tool to calculate the energy efficiency of a data center. The tool calculates the PUE and DCIE values by taking into account, the power and cooling configuration, total IT load and cost per kWh of the data center. A standard set of parameters for sizing and loss for PDUs, Generator, Switchgear and other equipments is also taken into account while calculating the values.
APC PUE/DCIE Calculator
The tool calculates the PUE and DCIE values instantly and allows the user to take printouts of the result obtained. In addition to the energy efficiency calculator, the APC has an assorted list of tools to calculate data center’s energy efficiency, carbon footprint, virtualization cost, which can be accessed here.
2. PUE and DCIE’s Calculator by 42U
42U is an independent data center consultant company, that has developed an online energy efficiency calculator (PUE and DCIE) for data centers. The tool is quite simple to use. Just enter the IT load, data center total facility load, select the country and state that your data center is currently located and the online tool will automatically calculate the total electricity used per year, the annual power cost and the annual carbon footprint.
It also lists the optimum levels of PUE and DCIE needed for a data center, displayed within the tool for reference. It also provides detailed explanation of these terms and how they should be used to reach those optimum levels. It also has an energy efficiency savings calculator which lets the user set the current PUE levels, desired PUE levels and the total IT load.
3. The Green Grid PUEE
The Green Grid PUEE is developed by a non-profit organization called The Green Grid that is made up of policy-makers, technology providers, facility architects and utility companies collaborating to improve the efficiency of data centers and business computing ecosystems.
This online calculator is one of the best tools available today. It compartmentalizes the data center components into Modules and Core. The Core is a part of the facility and refers to the common infrastructure and IT components shared by all Modules. The Modules then comprise of various IT components such as Compute Devices, Servers, Switches, Routers, etc.
The Core and Module have various ‘Types’ such as Power, HVAC, Physical Security and Building Management Systems. Each ‘Type’ has corresponding ‘Sub-Type’ components. For example, if the ‘Type’ is chosen as ‘Power’, then you get the following ‘Sub-Type’ options:
- Transfer Switches
- DC Batteries / Rectifiers
- Power Distribution Units (PDUs)
- Rack Distribution Units (RDUs)
- Breaker Panels
- Distribution Wiring
- Lightning and
Similarly, it also lets you choose multiple types for a Core and Module. You can then specify the dissipation of the ‘Sub-Type’ component along with the quantity of the equipment used.
A data center administrator can configure the Core and Modules based on their data center setup and it will calculate the overall facility load, IT load, PUE and DCIE. In addition, it will also calculate the individual PUE of each module called as ‘partial PUE (pPUE)’. This value helps in achieving the optimum energy-usage values for a data center. The results can either be emailed or downloaded as PDF or CSV formats.
4. Galileo Connect PUE Calculator
Galileo Connect has developed its own version of PUE / DCIE calculator for data centers. (Note: To access its PUE calculator, you need to register with the website.) This tool probably targets UK data center users, as all the calculations are done in Pence and Pounds. So if you plan on using this tool, you need a handy currency converter.
Also note that it made an assumption that the data center/room is 2000 meters square at 1500 watts per meter square load density. Suppose your data center/room is not of the required specifications, you will have to recalculate the results you get to match your setup. However, the tool is quite easy to use and gives a variety of environmental options such as whether data center uses water cooled chillers, Energy efficient CRACs, Solar Panels, and more.
5. Dimension85 PUE and DCIE Calculator
This online tool is developed by a software consulting company – Dimension85, is the minimalist PUE/DCIE calculator that I have come across so far. There are two fields namely the Total Facility Power (TFP) and the Information Technology Equipment Power (ITEP). Simply enter these values and hit ‘Get your PUE’.
It calculates the values and displays the result instantly. Unfortunately, it does not provide any context to savings or how to improve data center energy efficiency. However, this tool could be used as a quick reference tool when comparing different data centers.
These online energy efficiency calculators are something that every data center administrators should know and use in order for them to keep an eye on their PUE and DCIE values.
If you have come across these calculators or have used similar ones, do share it with our readers in the ‘Comments’ section.
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