Google's PUE

Deepak Jain deepak at
Wed Oct 1 15:06:05 CDT 2008

Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:
> On Oct 1, 2008, at 2:04 PM, Martin Hannigan wrote:
>>> Personally, I think only a self-owned DC could get that low.  A
>>> general purpose DC would have too many inefficiencies since someone
>>> like Equinix must have randomly sized cages, routers and servers,
>>> custom-built suites, etc.  By owning both sides, GOOG gets a boost.
>>> But it's still frickin' amazing, IMHO.
>> I wonder what it cost? :-)
> What cost to the environment of not doing it?
> OK, green hat off. :)  Seriously, I doubt GOOG isn't seeing serious 
> savings from this over time.  If they weren't why would they do it?

Not talking down this PR release....

Without comparing locations, sizes of floor plates, etc. I am sure 
Google has more than A-F, so one has to wonder which data centers they 
left off the map.

I think I can submit without proof that a PUE of 1.2 is far more 
impressive in New Mexico or Arizona than it is in Vancouver, BC since 
you are essentially measuring the energy to keep the datacenter at 
temperature throughout seasonal (or external) ambient heat deltas.

Likewise, a 10,000 sq ft single customer DC is far less impressive than 
a 200,000 sq ft general purpose (colo) DC. (they say large scale -- is 
that number of cores, or sq ft?, but I don't have a number for that).

And to address Patrick's rhetorical question - if it costs you $400MM 
(like a datacenter proposed underground in Japan) to save $15MM / yr in 
energy costs, one could easily argue that the environment "savings" is 
not sufficient to overcome the upfront investment. If you spent $40MM in 
trees (instead of $400MM on an investment to save $15MM/yr), you could 
argue the environment would be far better off.


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