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Data Center Product Efficiency Calculator

Part of building the business case for getting Greener across your infrastructure is the un-sexy task of calculating electrical and thermal efficiency. Well we’ve tried to make it a bit easier for you with a new calculator. You can find it in the planning tools section of the Efficiency Assurance Program. We put this together to help estimate a baseline for where your network(a) electrical efficiency is today. You notice we are saying electrical efficiency, not Green, not even energy efficiency. This tool provides you with the actual operative electrical efficiency of Cisco products. It also shows you the annual cost based on your kWh rate.We’ve gone with exposing electrical efficiency of our products because it is a metric that is not in dispute. It’s basic physics. You will notice for each product, power supply efficiency curves are exposed. These efficiency curves are related to how efficiently our products use electricity. No fancy, padded variables here, just the facts. Measuring the electrical efficiency of Switched-mode Power Supplies (SMPS) is one place you can start today if you want to compare products. I would invite you to encourage vendors to expose these curves publicly as it will drive the industry to be more energy efficient.We’ve tried to make it clear that we believe the largest energy efficiency gains happen at the systems level. However, for those tthat…want to delve into the infrastructure, we have this tool. We’re hoping that this tool will accommodate that level of interest. We are also hoping to get some feedback on where our customers would like to see us take this approach:Does this tool have what you need today?What other features would you like to see?Are there additional products you would like to see included?Let us know if all this energy-wash marketing holds up to the level of detail we are providing here. It should considering I designed it based of my experience in performing electrical efficiency analysis of data centers in my facilities days. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you might use this and whether you think it would be a valuable tool as part of an active management tool (dashboard modeling plug-in?).If you agree that the larger savings happen at the systems level you can also check out the Green Data Center Model Calculator also found in the planning tools section of the Efficiency Assurance Program.We also have a total cost of ownership calculator for Unifiied Computing in the same section of the program.Thanks, let us know how we’re doing.

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7 Comments.


  1. This appears to use 2007 costs (basing this on the link referenced in your kWh rate””). 2008 data are available. http://poprl.com/00k1

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  2. Very good – but why not go one step further and take it out of the data centre and deploy in the open plan office?Obviously not a replacement for the data centre but certainly worth exploring as complimentary to it….and saves on building a server room and certainly gives all the benefits of the technology without the large energy footprint.

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  3. Rob Aldrich

    Thanks for the comments. Replies as follows:rjhintz – thanks for the observation and link. The tool provides for a user definable field for kWh rate. Kick the tires at http://www.cisco.com/go/efficiencySenan – Great Thoughts! We’re trying to balance tool development with common challenge/requirement of our users. As you can imagine this is a fine line we need to balance (resource investment with customer need). From my experience users are not looking for electrical efficiency management across distributed IT infrastructure (today). Since most of this distributed infrastructure is less critical than data center infrastructure and is more difficult to actively manage, most of the users I’ve worked with are more interested in control of distributed assets (again, today).For data centers, this is of course a different story. Monitoring and targeted efficiency are more realistic for adoption at this point in time. Control will follow thereafter as users begin to logically group their infrastructure with energy control in mind.Even with developing this tool we are conducting an experiment. We’ve had a high level of demand for information at this level. Some of it driven by competitive marketing, some by the natural process of organizations learning about and defining what Green”” means to them.I really appreciate your creative thinking and hope you will continue to provide input. We rely heavily on the voice of our customers, partners and Green solution’eers in general.Keep em coming!Thanks.Post Script -We do have the beginnings of the tool you describe at http://www.cisco.com/go/energywise

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  4. A usefull add-on would be the ability to populate the virtual Chassis”” and show (for example) the usage/efficiency of an 18-slot Nexus w/various different modules.”

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  5. Rob Aldrich

    Thanks for the comments. eplies as follows:rjhintz – thanks for the observation and link. The tool provides for a user definable field for kWh rate. Kick the tires @ http://www.cisco.com/go/efficiencySenan – Great Thoughts! We’re trying to balance tool development with common challenge/requirement of our users. As you can imagine this is a fine line we need to balance (resource investment with customer need). From my experience users are not looking for electrical efficiency management across distributed IT infrastructure (today). Since most of this distributed infrastructure is less critical than data center infrastructure and is more difficult to actively manage, most of the users I’ve worked with are more interested in control of distributed assets (again, today).For data centers, this is of course a different story. Monitoring and targeted efficiency are more realistic for adoption at this point in time. Control will follow thereafter as users begin to logically group their infrastructure with energy control in mind.Even with developing this tool we are conducting an experiment. We’ve had a high level of demand for information at this level. Some of it driven by competitive marketing, some by the natural process of organizations learning about and defining what Green”” means to them.I really appreciate your creative thinking and hope you will continue to provide input. We rely heavily on the voice of our customers, partners and Green solution’eers in general.Keep em coming!Thanks.Post Script -We do have the beginnings of the tool you describe at http://www.cisco.com/go/energywise

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  6. Omar Sultan

    Andy:You can do exactly that with the Cisco Power Calculator, which you can find at http://tools.cisco.com/cpc/launch.jsp (CCO login required)Omat

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  7. Very informative post.When adding a battery backup into the system, does this change any of the efficiency of the power calculator?Like Robert said, going green is a major marketing technique that is being adopted more and more.

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