WP#72 - ICT Capacity and Utilization Metrics

23 January, 2017 | White Paper

Editors: Rona Newmark, Dell Kathrin Winkler, EMC Corporation Contributors: John Calhoon, Microsoft Charles Carroll, Individual Member Dan Comperchio, Wildan Energy Solutions Pierre Delforge, Individual Member Jay Dietrich, IBM Michael Dunbar, Dell James Espy, Dell Daniel Gaffney, The Bank of New York Mellon Donald Goddard, NetApp Magnus Herrlin, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Phil Isaak, Individual Member J Carlos Pratt, IBM Leonid Rabinovich, Cisco Systems Dale Sartor, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Mark Seymour, Future Facilities Roger Tipley, Schneider Electric Todd Traver, IBM Gary Verdun, Dell Jay Vincent, Intel Henry Wong, Intel

This white paper describes the outcome of an initiative undertaken by The Green Grid in early 2015 to define a metric or set of metrics that can quantify the maximum volume of information and communications technology (ICT) services that can be delivered by a data center for a given investment (“ICT capacity”) and provide an indicator of the share of that capacity that is actually utilized (“ICT utilization”).

Utilization can serve as a useful proxy for the energy efficiency with which the ICT services are being delivered because ICT equipment is generally more energy efficient at higher utilization. A doubling of utilization as measured by workload delivered or data stored can be achieved with an energy consumption increase of 4 to 5% as demonstrated by work performed by other work groups within The Green Grid. Thus, energy use is not currently proportional with workload.[1]

The metrics proposed in this white paper deal with average utilization, which means that the peak and minimum utilization of a resource may be substantially different. The goal of these metrics is to better track and communicate how particular ICT services are being consumed in pursuit of both efficiency and effectiveness in specific IT data centers.


[1] “Explanation of the calculation of server daily power consumption and power supply use,” Table 2, December 2015. Comments provided to EU Lot 9 consultant responsible for the Lot 9 Task 1 to 7 Reports by DIGITALEUROPE, prepared by The Green Grid SERT Analysis Working Group.

Topics: ICT Capacity Utilization