Datacenter Efficiency and PUE Measurement

As the demand for big data explodes, doubling every two years, organizations are struggling to expand datacenters and save energy costs. Increasing IT facility workloads and server densities challenge businesses to reduce energy consumption and manage capacity utilization to increase their datacenter efficiency. This denser capacity motivates organizations to seek a more standardized and modular design to build or upgrade their datacenters. The major contributors of datacenter electricity consumption comes from power and cooling systems, servers and facilities, and other equipment that support IT loads and datacenter operation. According to datacenter reports, cooling costs account for about 45% of total energy costs and another 15-20% is due to power distribution and conversions losses in the datacenter. Today’s datacenter should be built with the ability to reduce cost and run at an optimal capacity.

Good monitoring of datacenter energy consumption helps to improve its efficiency. The standard measurement of datacenter efficiency is Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) which was introduced by Green Grid in 2007.

PUE = Total Facility Power / IT Equipment Power

It represents the ratio of total facility power divided by the IT equipment power. According to Green Grid, PUE provides a way to determine:

  • Opportunities to improve a datacenter’s operational efficiency
  • How a datacenter compares with similar datacenters
  • If the datacenter operators are improving designs and processes over time
  • Opportunities to repurpose energy for additional IT equipment
  • A design target or goal for new datacenters

Source: The Green Grid white paper “PUE, A Comprehensive Examination of the Metric”

PUE is a valuable metric to evaluate and manage your datacenter power. To measure datacenter efficiency, it is critical for IT managers and datacenter operators to know the components in this measurement. The two categories of energy in a datacenter are IT equipment energy and total facility energy, which includes power, cooling and other miscellaneous component loads such as lighting and security. The total facility energy is where we can gain energy efficiency.

Industry benchmarking of your datacenter efficiency can be the first step to reducing energy consumption and energy cost. This gives you a comparison to evaluate your current datacenter design and come up with strategies to make improvements.


Benchmark PUE DCiE
Platinum <1.25 >0.8
Gold 1.25~1.43 0.7~0.8
Silver 1.43~1.67 0.6~0.7
Bronze 1.67~2 0.5~0.6
Recognized 2~2.5 0.4~0.5
Not recognized >2.5 <0.4


Delta InfraSuite offers high performance and high efficiency power and cooling solutions. Our UPSs support your datacenter operation with industry leading power performance and efficiency (P/F >0.9 and Efficiency up to 96%) and offer modular features for flexibility, greater space utilization and agility. Our Cooling Solutions also feature high efficiency design. You can adopt the InfraSuite Rowcool series, an in-row modular design, which supports the concept of “pay as you go” and segmented zones according to applications. Its fan speed adjusts to load changes for significant energy cost savings. Besides infrastructure solutions, Delta InfraSuite also offers DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) called InfraSuite Manager that provides IT managers an integrated platform to monitor the environment, manage IT equipment and track the energy performance of the datacenter to serve as a reference for PUE improvement. Delta InfraSuite Datacenter Solutions can help save at least 25% in energy consumption making Gold Level Datacenter or above an achievable goal.

Before building or upgrading a datacenter, it is essential to fully discuss with professionals and set your target for datacenter efficiency. Select the appropriate power and cooling systems to reach a reliable, energy-saving, maintainable, and manageable datacenter for your business goal. Building an energy-saving environment may increase costs, but reducing future operating costs is a worthy investment that eventually optimizes the total cost of ownership (TCO).