How do data centres measure efficiency?
We know IT performance improves dramatically each year, but what is the specific measure for this performance?
The concept of compute units per second (CUPS), is a relative measure of server output, based on average server performance. Another way to understand what CUPS represents is to think of it as the metric for “performance.”
Using data from multiple industry sources, Emerson has calculated the change in CUPS between 2002 and 2007, providing a common server performance measure required to calculate efficiency. Data centre professionals can experiment with CUPS relative to their own data centre with efficientdatacenters.com’s online efficiency calculator.
The CUPS analysis shows there has been significant increase in energy consumption in IT and data center environments, however these increases are considerably overshadowed by dramatic gains in data centre output and efficiencies over the last five years. If data centre output had remained flat between 2002 and 2007, the efficiency improvements achieved would have cut 2007 data centre consumption to one-eighth the 2002 consumption.
Ideally CUPS will become a universally accepted metric for IT and data centre output. A measurable ROI based on a universally quantifiable metric can only encourage investment and further the goal of energy efficiency in the data centre.