Green data center metrics : It’s ugly …

I just picked up a tweet with a link to Sustainable IT, Green IT . There was one giant thing that jumped out at me:

McKinsey and Company estimates that less than 1 percent of the energy of a data center is actually used to run specific business transactions. The vast majority (up to 90 percent) of energy is consumed by idle computers and for cooling.

I’ve been stating right along that the hyped metrics, PUE (power usage effectiveness) and the EPAs EUE (energy usage effectiveness) measure entirely the wrong things to be useful. Any efficiency metric that ignores the amount of actual work being accomplished with the power consumed is not only terribly misleading, but is also subject to being manipulated (fire up a pile of idle servers and watch your PUE improve!).

So now we have a crack at a real number. Only 1% of consumed energy is going to real work. Frankly, that’s pathetic. Now you know what energy inefficient servers, underutilized servers, legacy cooling systems and inefficient cooling designs, and legacy AC power and UPS systems with multiple conversions through energy wasting transformers are costing you.

If people won’t go green because it’s the right thing to do, how about the hit to the wallet? It’s like shoveling money down a rat hole.

What are YOU going to do to stop throwing money away?

Vern, SwiftWater Telecom

data center facility engineering


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