The Green Grid has announced the creation of two new metrics designed to help improve the sustainability of data center facilities by measuring the effectiveness of carbon and water use tied specifically to the IT energy infrastructure they contain.

The new metrics, called Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) and the upcoming Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE), are joining The Green Grid’s widely-used Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric. All are designed to help IT, facilities, and sustainability organizations across the globe optimize their data centers.

PUE helps managers determine the efficiency of the IT gear in their data centers by comparing the total amount of energy consumed by the data center facility to the total amount of energy consumed by the IT equipment inside it. PUE was recently established by a cross-industry data center metric task force as the recommended metric for determining energy efficiency in dedicated data center facilities.

CUE will help managers determine the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated in delivering work from the IT gear in a data center facility. Similarly, WUE will help managers determine the amount of water used by the facility, and the amount used to deliver work from IT operations.

A white paper outlining the new CUE metric, including methods for calculating it, can be found on The Green Grid’s Web site. Materials related to WUE will be made available in the first quarter of 2011.

“Our members firmly believe that decision-makers need the right tools to design, build, and operate their data centers in a sustainable way as they plan for increased computing, networking, and storage demands,” said Jack Pouchet, Emerson Network Power representative and board member of The Green Grid. “CUE and WUE metrics are significant steps forward in helping data center operators measure the effectiveness of carbon and water use by their data centers. Using a sound set of metrics like PUE, CUE, and WUE will lead to better managing of natural resources, and can potentially reduce consumption.”

PUE, CUE and WUE will be discussed at length at The Green Grid’s Technical Forum 2011 in March, and interested organizations can become active in The Green Grid by becoming members. The Green Grid welcomes active participation from the organization’s members and the industry at large on these topics, consistent with its efforts to encourage worldwide industry collaboration on strategic and tactical projects to improve data center efficiency.

Registration Opens for The Green Grid Technical Forum 2011
Registration to The Green Grid Technical Forum 2011 opens to members and non-members today, and the event will be held on March 1-2 in Santa Clara, CA. Attendance is open to members of The Green Grid on March 1, and then opens to the public and the media on March 2. Topics will include technical content and training in the areas of energy efficiency and sustainability, including PUE, CUE, and WUE metrics.

“The outstanding content we’ve developed for this year’s technical forum will speak to a broad range of participants, particularly those with responsibilities related to IT, corporate sustainability, and business operations,” said Larry Vertal, executive director of The Green Grid. “The Green Grid’s annual technical forum continues to be a leading global venue for organizations to find practical and relevant information to improve their operations and bottom line.”