What is Motivating Ken Brill to Criticize PUE? Maybe, another Uptime Seminar

TechHermit has a post on

Ken Brill continues to use his bully pulpit to slow down Data Center Energy Efficiency measurement adoption

August 29, 2008

I am really quite flabbergasted at Ken Brill.  I am really beginning to think he is going crazy.   On Monday, Mr. Brill posted a comment on his blog at Forbes essentially going after the gaming and potential mis-use of metrics. 

TechHermit then details Ken's bully pulpit behavior.

  1. Electricity is only one of a number of data center energy sources. Others include natural gas, steam, chilled water, diesel, free-cooling and one-pass cooling. So, if electricity alone is counted as an energy source, some sites will appear to be better than they really are.
  2. I also find it humorous that he mentions his ludicrously non-adopted Site Infrastructure Energy Overhead metric.   This metric is essentially PUE.  I guess this wonderful metric could not be gamed either.   Or that it somehow incorporates the energy calculation of cooling the earths air for free-cooling. 
  3. Given the amount of times he mentions PUE in negative connotations, I cannot but help think this a thinly veiled attempt to associate PUE with “Bad Marketeering” and “Green Washing”.

And, then TechHermit closes with

Having been involved in my local political scene I can tell you its a standard strategy.   That’s exactly what this smells of….politics.

Out of curiosity I went to the Forbes article ,and saw the overall rating was 5 stars, I clicked one star, and it dropped to 3 stars. Did someone at Uptime click on a 5 star rating, and my click on one star, averaged it to 3?


I have nothing personal against Ken, but I do agree with TechHermit's point.

In my opinion he is doing nothing more than creating significantly more mis-information and hesitance for companies to even begin measurement in the first place.

I've been sitting on this post for 5 days, not feeling I had enough information to post it.  But, 5 minutes ago I got the other piece of the puzzle in email, an Uptime Seminar promoting Four Metrics.

Last Chance to Register for Tomorrow's How to Apply the Four Metrics to Achieve Data Center GreennessOnline Seminar

In this two-hour, live online seminar, Institute Executive Director Ken Brill helps you holistically model the total energy use of your data center. Direct benefits of the course include a framework you can employ to understand the growing energy use in your data center as well as in the industry, a usable model of data center energy consumption upon which to base strategic planning, concrete examples of how best practices can curb your data center's energy consumption, and a set of metrics that you can apply to plan and better control energy use in your data center.

This essential online seminar will be delivered in two one-hour modules on September 3 and 4, October 8 and 9, November 5 and 6, and December 3 and 4. Save your seat by registering now. For a taste of what you can learn, watch Ken Brill's vodcast, What Constitutes Green IT.
Tuition: $295 (Non-Institute Members) / $250 (Institute Members)


Revolutionizing Data Center Energy Efficiency Public Seminar

The Institute's newest Public Seminar, Revolutionizing Data Center Energy Efficiency brings together the managerial and strategic approaches of How to Get IT and Facilities Together to Improve Data Center Energy Efficiency with the energy consumption modeling and metrics of How to Apply the Four Metrics to Achieve Data Center Greenness and provides a high-level method for driving energy efficiency from the top. This course is intended for the executive team and focuses on shared language to bridge silo-induced communication gaps, best practices, implementable and sharable metrics, strategic approaches to organizational impediments and more.
Tuition: $1195 (Non-Institute Members) / $995 (Institute Members)

I think this explains Ken's behavior to criticize PUE not as crazy, but a focus on Uptime's (Ken's) seminar revenue.