Google's PUE

Skywing Skywing at
Wed Oct 1 20:12:27 UTC 2008

Maybe, but I suspect that it is more complex than that.

Most of the real environmental costs are still externalized in today's day and age.

- S

-----Original Message-----
From: Deepak Jain <deepak at>
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 15:08
To: Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at>
Cc: NANOG list <nanog at>
Subject: Re: Google's PUE

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.


More information about the NANOG mailing list