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Re: Google's PUE

  • From: Marshall Eubanks
  • Date: Wed Oct 01 18:10:52 2008

On Oct 1, 2008, at 5:44 PM, Deepak Jain wrote:

I am going to attempt to determine our PUE, using the methodology described in the Google paper. One must figure that "in the spirit it was intended" has to factor in the natural gas consumption, otherwise my PUE would be about 0.1. :)

If you generate energy for your microturbine from a land fill (free methane gas) your PUE would be nearly zero. Obviously PUE can be skewed and shouldn't be considered as a single metric for anything other than a press release.

I would also suggest that Alex shouldn't hold is breath on more details. The details provided are interesting, but without context.

Indeed. If they would refuse a visit to Cory Doctorow writing for Nature, I don't think we should hold our breath at
all :

" It doesn't disclose the dimensions or capacity of those data centres. Nature wanted me to visit one for this piece, but a highly placed Googler told me that no one from the press had ever been admitted to a Google data centre; it would require a decision taken at the board level. Which is too bad."


(Its like:

"Hi, we filter our river water to evaporate it." But are they calculating the cost of all that contaminated material and its disposal? The blowdown on their cooling towers would have to be many times more hazardous than normal, and may require additional treatment to make it safe to release).

Is any math being done to decide whether free river/water-side economization is more important (financially/environmentally) than cheap energy inputs?

If rather than density, we REDUCE density and build very large foot print data centers that can use ambient air (I've heard rumors that MSFT is using 85 degree air [cool side] in New Mexico) we could get to PUE numbers that were nearly ideal (hot air rises, natural convection, no fans, just PDU overhead, etc).

Except where it impacts the bottom line, this all seems more like a fashion show than an actual business plan.

Deepak Jain