Believed to be guzzling as much as 2% of the entire planet’s electricity now – and already at 11% in Ireland, – data centres and server barns have an unenviable reputation as power hogs, satiating consumers’ limitless desire to stream video, social media feeds and avoidable selfies.
Now Lancashire-based consultancy Inspired Energy has stepped up to the green plate, launching a tool to help managers of twinkling rackfulls of boxed bits and bytes track their power usage and trim their operation’s carbon footprint.
Inspired Energy’s PUE Calculator is an online helpmeet, designed to measure centres’ power usage effectiveness. Among other metrics, it calculates operators’ ratio of IT load to total facility load.
Beyond that, the company says the tool becomes most effective when that score can be used as a pointer to identify energy savings, revealing achievable efficiencies in a centre’s consumption of energy, working capital and its associated carbon output.
Preston-based Inspired says its product furthers growing efforts by industry leaders to remedy data centres’ ‘profligate punks of power’ image.
In January this year, trade body the European Data Centre Association launched its voluntary Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact. The self-regulating initiative supports moves to bring data barns and server hotels into line with the European Commission’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. It includes a voluntary deadline of 31 December in that year for 100% renewable power used by its members.
James Miles, Inspired Energy’s head of specialist accounts said: “Working in partnership with over 130 data centre sites has given us a unique understanding of the specific efficiency challenges which they face.
“The development of our PUE Calculator comes from us wanting to find a simple, effective way for energy managers to take their current PUE and look at the potential energy efficiency savings”.
“Only through understanding energy usage and the potential for efficiency, can we put in place plans to …really make a difference to our businesses and our planet.”
Besides software development for the data centre sector, Inspired Energy helps centres in buying with 100% renewable energy, and advising on management of carbon and utility supplies.
In a recent Cornwall Insight report, analysts Cornwall rated the firm as the UK’s number one advisor in its sector.
More on Inspired Energy’s PUE product here.