Building Operating Management

New Metric for Data Center Efficiency Proposed

One obstacle to improving energy efficiency in data centers is that most organizations have no idea of how they’re doing. A new metric known as CADE — Corporate Average Datacenter Efficiency — offers a gauge of efficiency that can be used to benchmark performance across an entire organization.

CADE has four components, two related to IT and two related to facilities.

  1. Site energy efficiency: This measure is defined as IT load divided by total energy consumed in the data center.
  2. Site asset utilization: This is actual IT load — including servers, storage devices and networking equipment — divided by the site capacity.
  3. IT energy efficiency: This metric is set today at 5 percent for servers. Future versions of CADE will include efficiency metrics for midrange and mainframe equipment as well as storage and network devices.
  4. IT asset utilization: In the current version of CADE, this is measured by average server CPU utilization. In the future, IT asset utilization will be expanded to include measures for storage and networking hardware.

CADE is determined by multiplying those components. Facility energy efficiency is multiplied by facility utilization to get a score for facility efficiency. IT efficiency is calculated by multiplying IT energy efficiency by IT utilization. As IT efficiency goes up, facility efficiency is likely to go down. This creates capacity to not build additional data centers to accommodate server growth. CADE is the product of multiplying facility efficiency by IT efficiency. The higher the CADE, the better.

CADE can be calculated for an individual data center. The average value across an enterprise is found by weighting data centers based on installed facility capacity.

Today, many data centers have a CADE score for servers of between 5 and 15 percent. By using CADE to focus on improvement, adopting best facility practices and taking advantage of IT measures like shutting off servers no longer being used and buying more energy-efficient servers, most data centers can at least double their CADE scores. Being more aggressive can result in a tenfold or more improvement.

Kenneth Brill is the founder and executive director of the Uptime Institute and the Site Uptime Network. He developed the concept of dual power in the early nineties and was one of the originators of the industry’s Tier system for evaluating data center design.

Continue Reading: Critical Facilities

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Virtualization and Other Tips to Slash Data Center Energy Use

New Metric for Data Center Efficiency Proposed

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  posted on 11/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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