This white paper examines energy efficiency in data center design and shows how those design choices produced a data center that is 80 percent more energy efficient than traditionally-built data centers.

Data centers use a tremendous amount of energy - equivalent to the output of 30 large nuclear plants, highlighting the need to use that energy efficiently. This need for accountability in data center power use has brought about Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) as a measure of data center energy efficiency. This whitepaper examines energy efficiency and how data center design can produce an 80% increase in energy efficiency.

Data centers exist to support the computing infrastructure within them, so other energy consumed in the data center to support operations such as for cooling, security and power distribution, is “overhead” that should be minimized. Power usage effectiveness is reported as a number and a lower number denotes a more energy efficient data center. Theoretically, the lowest PUE is 1.0, which indicates that all of the energy going into the data center is going into the servers. Of course, this is not possible in the real world, where energy is also needed for lights, cooling and other necessary functions.

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