The Green Grid: Introducing CUE and WUE in a World of PUE

PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) has become a commonly used phrase to describe the efficiency of data centers worldwide. As the enterprise demand for data centers continues to rise and designers continue to search for new ways of “Greening”, the common PUE designation has lost some of its luster. The bottom line is that regulating power usage is a major factor in a facility’s efficiency rating, but it is not the only factor.

In response to this conundrum The Green Grid, “a global consortium of IT companies and professionals,” has introduced two new standardized sets of measurements that will aide in data center efficiency and push towards an environmentally friendly IT ecosystem. The first new metric is CUE, Carbon Usage Effectiveness. As the name implies the CUE will help data center managers track and regulate carbon emissions. In essence the new designation will contribute to a competitive atmosphere that will lead facility managers to work towards efficiency goals.

A second measurement released by The Green Grid is WUE, Water Usage Effectiveness. Corresponding to the common theme, WUE looks at the effective use of water in data center management. Common uses for water in data center designs include waterside cooling, evaporative cooling and hydropower. Determining the WUE consists of dividing the total water usage by the IT load.

While PUE, CUE, and WUE don’t offer solutions for efficiency, they do offer managers a way to measure performance, and in turn innovate where necessary. PUE measurements have proven to be both successful and accepted in the industry, and I believe that the new metrics will have a similarly positive effect.

The demand for IT infrastructure and data centers is still on the rise, and the efficiency at which they operate will continue to be a top priority for designers, managers and the general IT community.  Creating a competitive environment by setting up measurements is a creative and positive move for the expanding industry, and provides a much needed push towards technological environmental sustainability. 


Ben Zvaifler

About Ben Zvaifler

Ben Zvaifler is the Director of Training and Business Development at GSMI. In his current position Ben manages the expansion and execution of the GSMI training division. Ben's responsibilities include research, program development and sales for both in-house and public training courses across GSMI’s portfolio. Courses currently in development include quality assurance and compliance, social media strategy and policy management, and performance management topics. Additional responsibilities include curriculum development, strategic partnerships, content management, blogging and business development.
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