Data center provider and real estate company Digital Realty Trust (DRT) recently conducted an energy-efficiency analysis of its data center properties in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas, finding some surprising results on the measurements.
DRT audited its turnkey facilities and found that the average power usage effectiveness (PUE) was 1.6 – pretty stellar given that industry data cites that the average data center has a PUE of 2.5.
DRT cited variable frequency drives on fans; pumps and chillers; outside air economizers; hot and cold aisle containment; and PowerVU monitoring software, among other technologies, to achieve the 1.6 PUE rating.
The PowerVU software was developed by DRT to provide a real-time dashboard for its customers in monitoring data.
Digital Realty Trust CTO Jim Smith estimates that DRT saves 10,000 KW or $6-$10 million annually, comparing 11.2 MW of IT load at a PUE of 1.6 versus at 2.5. Putting the results side-by-side allowed them to calculate the average energy and cost savings. Smith mentioned that such savings wouldn’t be possible without IT admins keeping abreast of data on a consistent basis.
“When you have access to data that lets you see and monitor energy efficiency, you can make improvements and try things that bring your PUE down,” Smith said. “That’s true whether you operate a lot of facilities like us or whether you just have a single corporate data center. Being able to measure makes it all possible.”