Group puts forth DCeP as data center efficiency metric

March 27, 2014
Led by The Green Grid, a task force has developed Data Center Energy Productivity, which divides a facility’s useful work produced by the source energy it consumes to produce the work.

The Green Grid recently announced that a task force on data center efficiency, of which it has been a significant part, has agreed on standard approaches and reporting conventions for the metric known as Data Center Energy Productivity (DCeP). In short, the equation that yields DCeP amounts to the useful work produced by a data center, divided by the total data center source energy consumed producing this work.

The term “useful work” appears to be particularly operative. When announcing the task force’s agreement, The Green Grid said, “DCeP allows each organization to define ‘useful work’ as is applicable to its business, thus creating a custom and meaningful metric. For example, a retail business may use number of sales as the measure for useful work, while an online search company may use the number of searches completed.”

The task force, which has produced other documentation and recommendations over the past several years, includes representatives from The Green Grid Association; the United States Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now and Federal Energy Management Programs; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s EnergyStar Program, European Commission – Joint Research Centre, Data Centres Code of Conduct; Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; and Japan’s Green IT Promotional Council. The 29-page memo describing DCeP is the task force’s “fourth and final” such document, The Green Grid said, concluding “five years of work to harmonize directions designed to improve key energy efficiency metrics within data centers.”

Deva Bodas, principal engineer and lead architect for server power management at Intel Corporation—also a board member of The Green Grid—said, “Overall, global data center traffic is estimated to grow threefold from 2012 to 2017 and although data centers are becoming more efficient, their total energy use is projected to grow. With escalating demand for data center operations and rising energy costs, it is essential for data center owners and operators to monitor, assess and improve performance using energy efficiency and greenhouse-gas-emission metrics. This is why the recommendations of the task force are so important.”

Other accomplishments of the task force include the October 2012 consensus on the use of the Green Energy Coefficient (GEC), Energy Reuse Factor (ERF) and Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) metrics. Previously, it announced agreement on guidelines and specific measurement protocols for Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).

The most-recently issued memo on DCeP also includes the task force’s prior recommendations. You can access and download it here.

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