There are two primary trends driving data center efficiency, rising cost of electricity and increasing server density. Cooling systems are responsible for consuming about half of a typical data center’s power, making cooling infrastructure a data center’s most energy-intensive subsystem. This and the need for maximizing cooling capacity are driving efforts to improve data center cooling efficiency. Eliminating data center cooling over-capacity is often the easiest and lowest cost approach to reducing data center utility costs. Research by Upsite Technologies reveals that of 45 sites studied, the average site had nearly four times more rated cooling capacity than heat load. Once an afterthought, efficient and effective computer room cooling must now be a top priority for data center and facilities managers.
Although power usage effectiveness (PUE) has been embraced both domestically and internationally as a comprehensive metric for determining overall data-center efficiency, it does not indicate cooling effectiveness or efficiency. A metric focused solely on cooling efficiency is essential to identifying describing and isolating efficiency problems relating to cooling. One such metric is called the cooling capacity factor (CCF).