Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is one of the most widely used metrics in the industry and is simply defined as the ratio of total facilities energy to IT equipment energy. It provides us a baseline to which we can measure against, but most importantly, it points us in the direction of where we’re not using our power effectively. This in turn allows us to make the changes needed to use that power more efficiently. This is the main reason PUE is still so widely used in the industry, although it is commonly debated for its limitations.
With that being said, there is more or less a direct relationship between airflow management and PUE. Since cooling typically accounts for around one third of a data center’s total power consumption (and nearly three quarters of the non-IT load), PUE can be significantly improved by implementing airflow management initiatives and optimizing the cooling infrastructure.
For more on the science behind airflow management and cooling optimization, check out Upsite Technologies' recent webinar titled, Data Center Cooling 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Airflow Management Best Practices and Cooling Optimization.