Simple Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your PUE


PUE. You’re constantly hearing about Power Usage Effectiveness and how to improve it through implementing some grandiose schemes and expensive space age products – all of which may help, but I prefer the simple things in life. So, what inexpensive products are available or best practices can be used to improve your energy efficiency? After all, it’s really about saving energy and money, right?

First, let’s do a quick review on how PUE is defined. Like a golf score, higher is worse and 1.0 is a perfect score.



PUE = Total Facility Energy / IT Equipment Energy

where Total Facility Energy = Cooling + Power + Lighting + IT

So if we can find a couple simple ways to reduce energy for cooling, power, and lighting we can improve our PUE AND make the boss happy by saving some pretty decent bucks. Let’s just take an idea or two for each category to get started:

COOLING: I covered this in the March 2nd post, Data Center Cooling Made Simple In short, plug the leaks in the raised floor and cabinets with raised floor grommets and blanking panels. You can turn off an entire CRAC unit by plugging about 50 holes in the floor tiles.

POWER: use more efficient power supplies. According to PG&E, this alone can save $2700 to $6500 per rack/year & it has the added benefit of requiring less cooling.

LIGHTING: use occupancy sensors to keep the lights off when the computer room is empty. You do this at home, right? I drive my kids crazy with the constant nagging about who left the lights on in the….

IT: Find and get rid of the ghost servers. Several sources believe that most data centers have 10-15% of their servers not being used. Hear that sucking sound? That’s the sound of idle servers using about 80% of their max power but not performing any useful work.


2 Responses to Simple Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your PUE

  1. Don Snowden said on
    April 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Great article!

  2. Meryl Goldenberg said on
    April 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    RE: Additional Cooling Idea
    Belden’s Adaptive Enclosure Heat Containment System substantially reduces IT cooling costs by achieving 100% utilization of the existing cooling infrastructure. It can also eliminate the over-supply of cold air, potentially reducing the number of CRAC units as well.

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