PUE: What IT Ops & Facilities Leaders Need to Know

Quick take

  • As you look to shortlist colocation providers, PUE should be a factor that you compare providers on. But take care, as things aren’t always as they seem.
  • 8 PUE questions to ask when comparing colocation providers will help you trust, but verify PUE claims. Learn more about PUE and keeping your costs in check in our new white paper

Have you ever had trouble evaluating the PUE claims of different colocation data centers?

You’re not alone.

Understanding the energy efficiency of one data center compared to another is made difficult by a lack of transparency into what metric is used. Without a consistent definition of PUE, and a standard for how it is measured, it is very difficult to compare the efficiency level (which ties directly to cost) of one data center to another.

It matters more than you might realize.

After all, power is by far the largest operating expense you’ll pay in the data center. And 40% of enterprise IT managers are paying more for colocation contracts than they had initially planned or expected, according to the Uptime 2016 Survey.

The fact is that when measuring data center energy efficiency, both annualized PUE and peak PUE matter – for different reasons.

8 PUE questions to ask when comparing colocation providers

Arming yourself with an understanding of annualized PUE and peak PUE – and how they impact you – is the first step toward being able to make a true apples-to-apples comparison between data center providers. Then, when you go shopping for that new colocation provider, ask these 8 questions:

  1. What is the annualized PUE of the data center facility I’m considering? How is that annualized PUE calculated?
  2. What is the peak PUE of the data center facility I’m considering? How is that peak PUE calculated?
  3. For both annualized PUE and peak PUE:
    • How was the data collected?
    • From what type of equipment was the data collected?
    • What is the timeframe covered by the reported value?
    • At what frequency were the individual data points collected?
  4. Is PUE used to determine my monthly energy costs? What is the fine print around what PUE I’ll actually be charged on?
  5. Is a certain annualized PUE guaranteed in the service level agreement (SLA)?
  6. How much of utility load goes to mechanical overhead? How much to electrical overhead?
  7. What about your technology drives energy efficiency?
  8. What mechanism do you have for me to see real-time and historical PUE data?

Learn more about the importance of PUE and what it measures in the white paper Comparing PUE Between Colocation Data Centers – And Why It Matters.

In the white paper, you’ll learn:

  • The difference between annualized PUE and peak PUE, and why it matters. (Annualized PUE impacts operational costs; peak PUE affects capital costs and your ability to scale up IT load within a data center.)
  • The technology behind our industry-leading 1.15 annualized PUE, which yields a 32% savings over a high-end data center.