PUE has turned into a marketing distortion metric

I wrote some of the first PUE blog posts and ghost wrote a bunch of PUE articles for the execs who didn't have time or the skills to write about PUE. I don't write about PUE that much as it turned silly.

Like how?  It has turned into a reality distortion field, some how making it seem a company is superior to another with its low PUE.  Steve Jobs was the supreme master of creating reality distortion fields.

Reality distortion field (RDF) is a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple Computer in 1981, to describe company co-founder Steve Jobscharisma and its effects on the developers working on the Macintoshproject.[1] Tribble claimed that the term came from Star Trek.[1] Later the term has also been used to refer to perceptions of his keynote speeches (or "Stevenotes") by observers and devoted users of Applecomputers and products.[2]

One of the best discussions I had on PUE was 3 1/2 years ago with Google's Urs Hoelzle.

Google Uncloaks PUE Data Center Details

Why is it important for Google and others to uncloak? Star Trek's Gene Roddenberry provides a view on human nature.

Gene Roddenberry indicated in various interviews that "our heroes don't sneak around", indicating that the Federation made a conscious decision to not develop cloaking technology.

We have all read about Google's PUE data center announcement, and I was waiting for the news to die down. Then, Google's PR group offered me the chance to discuss their PUE announcements in more detail, being a a curious guy I said sure. 1-1 discussions are always useful.


Well they must have really wanted something more to be written, because they set up my meeting with Google's Sr. VP of Operations,Urs Hoelzle to discuss details on Google's PUE data center details.


Urs Hölzle 
Senior Vice President, Operations & Google Fellow

A more to date PUE post is Chris Crosby's discussion of The Dirty Little Secrets of PUE

The Dirty Little Secrets of PUE

The Dirty Little Secrets of PUEI was reading an article the other day asking the question, “Whose data centers are more efficient? Facebook’s or Google’s?”, and I couldn’t help but be struck by the irrelevance of the entire premise for the average enterprise or service provider data center operator. Certainly there is a small curiosity factor here but isn’t this really just a more sophisticated way of asking: “Ginger or MaryAnn”? Interesting to ponder but is it going to change the way you operate your data center? Probably not.

While these two titans Indian leg wrestle their way to be the first to claim that they have achieved nirvana (in this case a PUE of 1.0), data center professionals whose sites’ support everything from the company’s email to commodities futures trades to ERP are too busy to be designing their own servers, cleaning off their roofs and implementing new containment strategies to shave another hundredth of a point from their performance rating. To a certain extent aren’t both of these exercises in futility?


Chris closes with a post that hopefully others will follow.

How about another approach…

I would argue that it is more important to achieve a level of data center efficiency that achieves an optimal level of sustainable and predictable performance at the lowest load level possible. This not only reduces your operational costs but also provides you with a level of certainty that positively impacts your budgeting (power pricing margins for service providers) as the IT load within you facility increases. We shouldn’t forget that data center efficiency isn’t about score-boarding in a press release, but in cost effectively (and in some cases, profitably) operating the facility. This strategy better enables us to answer the larger questions that we are confronted with, which in this case is obviously…MaryAnn.

Chris sounds much practical than saying I have a PUE of 1.012.