To halt the ever-increasing energy consumption by data centers it is important to use performance indicators which accurately represent this performance. The strengths and limitations of PUE as the key performance indicator are analyzed and suggestions are made to complement any limitations. Data centers were responsible for 1.5% of global energy consumption in 2010 and this figure is only expected to double soon.
Data centers are becoming more energy efficient, a trend lead by the introduction of PUE (Power Utilization Effectiveness) as a performance metric. PUE’s simplicity and focus on infrastructure efficiency was quickly adopted by the industry, but now the question is raised if PUE is still able to lead the quest for improved energy efficiency. PUE does not show performance regarding IT efficiency, water usage, heat recovery, on-site energy generation or carbon impact. This can lead to misuse of PUE by focusing on just improving PUE values instead of real energy use. Improving data center performance assessment is proposed in this paper by broadening the scope beyond PUE. Key Words: PUE, Performance metrics, Data Center, Energy Efficiency, Indicators