Green Cloud Computing – Green Power Usage Effectiveness

Over the next several weeks we will be focusing on “Green Computing Technology” and will be presenting articles from those who are currently working and developing in this area.  One of these companies is Greenqloud that we have previously covered on our:” Top 25 European Cloud Computing Rising Stars List”

In the meantime, here is an excellent article written by Eirikur Hrafnsson, CEO & Co-Founder Greenqloud that was originally posted back in October 2010 discussing a Power Usage Effectiveness Scale or PUE.

You can expect future contributions to CloudTweaks from Eirikur Hrafnsson as well as Environmental Manager, Ruth Shortall in the following weeks…

Original Article:

A few years back the Green Grid developed the Power Usage Effectiveness metric or PUE for short to measure a data centers’ effectiveness of getting power to IT equipment. What the PUE tells you in simple terms is how much extra energy you need for each usable KWh for the IT equipment due to the power going into cooling, power distribution loss etc. and it’s a simple formula (in theory):

PUE = Total Facility Power/IT Equipment Power

However the PUE “standard” has been the center of the data center industries’ debate ever since it came out. I won’t go into the details but it has been debated mainly for four reasons.

  1. The PUE can change dramatically depending on where measurements are made, when they are made and the timespan the measurements are made in.
  2. Data centers are subtracting factors from their PUE to lower it e.g. district heating.
  3. PUE was designed for dedicated data centers (preferably full of gear) but being calculated for any kind of “data center”.
  4. PUE was NOT designed as a metric to compare data centers for business purposes (My PUE is smaller then yours!) but as a metric for data centers to improve their effective use of power.

In other words PUE has loopholes and they are being exploited for marketing purposes. Green Grid has decided to plug most of those holes with an update to the PUE definition and are now calling it PUEx where the x is a value between 0-3 and depends on e.g. where measurements are made. You can read more about the PUEx here .

PUEx is a welcomed update and I hope data centers will soon start updating their PUE’s. I still have a beef to pick with the marketing departments of the data centers though because I don’t see them stopping to use PUE as tool to compare their “green” data center to others. The age of “Green by PUE” has just started, believe me!

This article about “Chicago emerging as a green data center powerhouse” is exactly the sort of “greenwashing” we have been spotting here at Greenqloud. Microsoft has a massive “green” data center in Chicago that they say has a PUE of 1.22, sounds pretty great right? But wait…where does their power come from? 72.8% coal, 22.3% nuclear, 3.8% mixed, 1.1% renewable…still sounds green to you? Me neither and we feel like something has to be done. PUE rightfully does not change with the amount of renewables used. It simply isn’t a metric about true greeness but how well you manage your power and therefor should not be used for green marketing.

However, PUE IS being used for green marketing and realistically I don’t think that will change for a while. We therefor came up with a way to “weigh” the PUE to better see which data centers are truly green in the sense that they indirectly cause the least amount of CO2 to be emitted by their use of dirty or clean energy.

This new metric we call GPUE or Green Power Usage Effectiveness and it does two things for the industry.

  1. It gives the truly green data centers a boost in the battle with their “greenwashing” counterparts.
  2. You can very easily calculate the CO2 emissions created for each usable KWh for the IT equipment.

So here’s the definition and the presentation format for GPUE:

GPUE = G x PUEx (for inline comparison of data centers)
or = G @ PUEx  (a better display and for co2 emission calculations)

The “G” is the key factor here and it is a simple calculated value:

G = Weighed Sum of energy sources and their lifecycle KG CO2/KWh

G =∑( %EnergySource x ( 1 + weight) )

What’s the + 1 for? It’s there so we when “weigh”(multiply) the PUE we get a number that’s not less then the PUE. This gives us a better feeling of the scale because we are used to the small PUE value range.
The weights are simply taken directly from the “lifecycle CO2/KWh for electricity generation by power source” table above we got from the 2008 Sovacool Study e.g. the weight for unscrubbed coal is 1.050 (kg of CO2/KWh) while hydroelectric river generation has a weight of 0.013. An unknown energy source or a “mix” will get the same as the maximum value which for now is the same as coal.

Example:

PUE 1.20, 50/50 Coal/Hydro
G = 0.5*(1+1.050) + 0.5*(1+0.013)
G = 1.531, GPUEx =
1.84 or 1.531@1.20

Kg CO2 per usable KWh = (G-1) x PUEx = 0.64 Kg

It’s very interesting to see the GPUE side by side to the PUE of these “green” data centers in the image below (click for a large version). This table is mostly taken from the Greenpeace report “Make IT Green“. You will notice the percentages don’t quite add up, that’s because these are the local grid suppliers, the rest is what we call a “mix”. Some of those data centers also didn’t have a public PUE (underlined) so for demonstration purposes we gave them a PUE of 1.5 and did the calculations. Greenqloud’s data centers don’t have their PUE yet but from Icelandic experience and the free cooling here we are certain that they will at least be under 1.2 and because we only use 100% renewable energy (geothermal and hydro) for our truly green public cloud our GPUE will roughly be equal our PUEx and that’s the point. Truly green data centers will have a GPUE close to their PUEx and dirty energy data centers won’t, let the debate begin!

Please leave your comments, share on twitter etc. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject!

By Eirikur Hrafnsson, CEO & Co-Founder Greenqloud

THE TRULY GREEN CLOUD HAS A BLOG

Green Power Usage Effectiveness

Share on Facebook
Post to Google Buzz
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on Tumblr
Share on reddit
Share on LinkedIn
Share on StumbleUpon

 

The ICT industry is putting out 2% of the world’s CO2 emissions, equal to the airline industry (Gartner) and could become one of the biggest polluters by 2020 (McKinsey).

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Cukes and the Cloud

Cukes and the Cloud

The Cloud, through bringing vast processing power to bear inexpensively, is enabling artificial intelligence. But, don’t think Skynet and the Terminator. Think cucumbers! Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) conjures up the images of vast cool intellects bent on our destruction or at best ignoring us the way we ignore ants. Reality is a lot different and much…

Ransomware’s Great Lessons

Ransomware’s Great Lessons

Ransomware The vision is chilling. It’s another busy day. An employee arrives and logs on to the network only to be confronted by a locked screen displaying a simple message: “Your files have been captured and encrypted. To release them, you must pay.” Ransomware has grown recently to become one of the primary threats to…

InformationWeek Reveals Top 125 Vendors Taking the Technology Industry by Storm

InformationWeek Reveals Top 125 Vendors Taking the Technology Industry by Storm

InformationWeek Reveals Top 125 Vendors Five-part series details companies to watch across five essential technology sectors SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — InformationWeek released its list of “125 Vendors to Watch” in 2017. Selected by InformationWeek’s expert editorial team, the companies listed fall into one of five key themes: infrastructure, security, cloud, data management and…

Part 1 – Connected Vehicles: Paving The Way For IoT On Wheels

Part 1 – Connected Vehicles: Paving The Way For IoT On Wheels

Connected Vehicles From cars to combines, the IoT market potential of connected vehicles is so expansive that it will even eclipse that of the mobile phone. Connected personal vehicles will be the final link in a fully connected IoT ecosystem. This is an incredibly important moment to capitalize on given how much time people spend…

Embedded Sensors and the Wearable Personal Cloud

Embedded Sensors and the Wearable Personal Cloud

The Wearable Personal Cloud Wearable tech is one avenue of technology that’s encouraging cloud connections and getting us all onto interconnected networks, and with the continued miniaturization and advancement of computing the types of wearable tech are always expanding and providing us with new opportunities. A few years ago, smartwatches were rather clunky devices with…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

The Digital Twin  How smart factories and connected assets in the emerging Industrial IoT era along with the automation of machine learning and advancement of artificial intelligence can dramatically change the manufacturing process and put an end to the dreaded product recalls in the future. In recent news, Samsung Electronics Co. has initiated a global…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hybrid Cloud Environments After several years of steady cloud adoption in the enterprise, an interesting trend has emerged: More companies are retaining their existing, on-premise IT infrastructures while also embracing the latest cloud technologies. In fact, IDC predicts markets for such hybrid cloud environments will grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw…

The Future Of Cybersecurity

The Future Of Cybersecurity

The Future of Cybersecurity In 2013, President Obama issued an Executive Order to protect critical infrastructure by establishing baseline security standards. One year later, the government announced the cybersecurity framework, a voluntary how-to guide to strengthen cybersecurity and meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to approve the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), moving it one…

Five Cloud Questions Every CIO Needs To Know How To Answer

Five Cloud Questions Every CIO Needs To Know How To Answer

The Hot Seat Five cloud questions every CIO needs to know how to answer The cloud is a powerful thing, but here in the CloudTweaks community, we already know that. The challenge we have is validating the value it brings to today’s enterprise. Below, let’s review five questions we need to be ready to address…

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth The Internet of Things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

Infographic: IoT Programming Essential Job Skills

Learning To Code As many readers may or may not know we cover a fair number of topics surrounding new technologies such as Big data, Cloud computing , IoT and one of the most critical areas at the moment – Information Security. The trends continue to dictate that there is a huge shortage of unfilled…

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

Ambitious Startups An oft-quoted statistic, 50% of new businesses fail within five years. And the culling of startups is even more dramatic, with an estimated nine out of ten folding. But to quote Steve Jobs, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” So while…