The Green Grid Data Center Power Efficiency Metrics: PUE and DCiE

The Green Grid is an association of IT professionals seeking to dramatically raise the energy efficiency of data centers through a series of short-term and long-term proposals. This is an update to the very first white paper published by the Green Grid in February 2007 called “Green Grid Metrics: Describing Data Center Power Efficiency” to refine the nomenclature and intent of that paper. In that paper, The Green Grid proposed the use of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and its reciprocal, Data Center Efficiency (DCE) metrics, which enable data center operators to quickly estimate the energy efficiency of their data centers, compare the results against other data centers, and determine if any energy efficiency improvements need to be made. Since then, PUE has received broad adoption in the industry but DCE has had limited success due to the misconception of what data center efficiency really means. As a result, this paper reaffirms the use of PUE but redefines its reciprocal as data center infrastructure efficiency (DCiE). This refinement will avoid much of the confusion around DCE and will now be called DCiE.

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