How to use DCIE (Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency) metrics to calculate your data center’s energy efficiency

To control the energy efficiency of your data center you need to get a broad understanding of how the data center uses the energy. The best way to do this is to use energy efficiency metrics. One of the most accepted and widely used metrics is PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) – read here and here to find out more.

Another popular metric is DCIE (Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency), which will be explained in this article.

The most obvious difference between PUE and DCIE is that the latter is expressed as a percentage rather than a number. The higher the percentage the more efficient the data center.

DCIE can be applied to your data center by using the following formula:

DCIE = IT Equipment Power/Total Facility Power x 100%

Total Facility Power is the power measured at the utility meter. The IT Equipment Power includes all the actual load of IT equipment such as workstations, servers, storage, switches, printers and other service delivery equipment.

Here’s a example that will help you understand how to work out your data center energy efficiency by using the DCIE metric:

Total Facility Power = 320 kW

IT Equipment Power = 160 kW

DCIE = 100/320 x 100% = 31.25%

With this formula you can easily calculate your data center’s electrical efficiency and compare it with other data center’s. This benchmarking will allow you to come up with a strategy for optimization.

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