Lowering PUE: The Impact of DCIM

How Does DCIM Lower PUE?

In the realm of Information Technology, data centers are constantly exposed to development and change in order to be efficient, cost-effective, more innovative, and environmentally conscious. Constantly in flux is the data center inventory, energy management techniques, cabling infrastructure, and more so how can companies move towards the goals of increased efficiency and decreased costs? It can start with PUE.

What is PUE?

PUE stands for Power Usage Effectiveness. It is a standard and fairly simple metric used to gauge how efficient (or inefficient) data centers are in their energy use. Once calculated the PUE can be monitored against comparative facilities to measure improvements brought about by power and cooling improvements as well as virtualization and the subsequent increase in server density and efficiency.

How is it Calculated?

PUE is derived by a simple equation. Companies must start with the total amount of energy from their data sources. Then, they divide that sum by the IT source energy. The resulting number is each company’s PUE, a number that can change as companies implement changes.

What is a Good Result?

Ideally, companies aim for a PUE of 1. Essentially, this means that all of the energy being used is consumed by IT equipment alone, but this result is incredibly difficult to achieve. A range of PUE scores can result from various data centers as the score is dependent on a variety of factors, geography being one of the largest.

How Does DCIM Make an Impact?

Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) can make a substantial impact on lowering PUE. Since infrastructure management solutions can centralize a data center’s information, it can give operational analysis into what areas need change. Software that deliver DCIM software solutions, such as the leading Nlyte Software, can provide an integrated framework for metrics, analysis, and performance results across both IT and the various facilities’ capacity.

Tangibly, some areas can be specifically addressed:

  • Elimination: Some servers may simply be inefficient. Removing such servers can lighten the overall energy use significantly and have surprisingly large impact on PUE. DCIM solutions can help companies quickly find and handle such inefficiencies.
  • Mapping: Different placements and layouts can increase or decrease the energy efficiency, especially in relation to the heating and cooling airflow systems. Trying out new options to deal with such temperature regulations can greatly reduce energy usage.
  • Capacity planning: Companies can reach a sweet spot with their max capacity, best placements, and creative or innovative solutions for specific spaces. DCIM can give insight into each centers unique situation to enable further capacity planning.
  • PUE gauge: One of DCIM’s strongest features is its ability to give easily accessible information about data. Having this PUE gauge will help you trace how effective or ineffective changes are as they’re being implemented and give you direction for future action.

Whether it’s using DCIMs data to eliminate inefficient servers, to enhance capacity planning, or to monitor PUE overall, data center infrastructure management can help lower PUE one implementation step at a time.

To find out more about beginning with DCIM, try the “Getting Started with DCIM” whitepaper or download the DCIM For Dummies eBook from Nlyte Software.

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