Friday, 10 October 2008

The PUE Race

Well I may have been a little over-enthusiastic in my last posting about Google achieving a PUE of 1.15 for one of its data centres, since it doesn't seem that difficult after all. I've since heard from Deerns ('the largest consulting engineering firm in the Netherlands active in data centre design') that they can match the levels of data centre energy efficiency.

The company has a Green Cooling for Data Centres (GC-DC) concept which uses an innovative combination of free cooling (i.e. external air) and modular layout of the data centre. It's also a "pay as you grow" system, so you don't need to invest in cooling until you need it.

Enough of the advert, the point is that there are various solutions being used by a range of companies around the world and it doesn't seem that difficult to achieve these sorts of power efficiency levels ("It's not rocket science" - Deerns). The only question is whether we are comparing like with like, as I've mentioned in a previous blog.

I have had several conversations on the topic in recent days, though, and it does seem that the EPA's PUE forecasts for 2011 are actually here now. With current technology and design, after re-fitting an existing data centre you should get a PUE of around 1.7, a new build using conventional techniques will get you 1.3-1.4, but if you put some thought into it 1.15-1.2 is on the cards.

© The Green IT Review

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