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U.S. Government Requesting Lower PUE, DCIM Implementation in Federal Data Centers

June 06, 2016

Hostirian Cold Aisle ContainmentThe U.S. government recently requested lower Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) for its data centers by deploying data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software, as part of cost savings and improvements referenced in its Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI). This is part of a broader plan implemented in 2011, which requires all federal data centers be consolidated to cut costs and improve efficiencies.

In March, federal Chief Information Officer, Tony Scott, introduced the following criteria:

  • All new data center builds or expansions will be halted unless approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • A move to shared services or colocation facilities where possible
  • Adoption of cloud services whenever possible
  • A minimum PUE of 1.5 for existing facilities and 1.4 or even lower in new builds
  • Use of DCIM software to help improve overall efficiency and drive server utilization

Simply put, federal data centers must demonstrate improved power, space and cooling over time. As a result, IT government managers will likely look for products that provide this information thoroughly. These latest government actions validate the industry trend as a whole.

Chatsworth Products (CPI) provides a three-pronged approach that can help not only IT government, but any data center manager achieve an effective system. 


Data centers can lower their Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) by isolating hot/cold air through Aisle Containment

CPI offers four configurations of Containment (Build to Spec Kit Hot Aisle Containment (HAC), Cabinet Supported HAC, Frame Supported HAC and Cabinet Supported Cold Aisle Containment) with high seal for minimal inside/outside pressure difference, which allows optimization of fan speeds to minimize energy use.

Benefits of CPI Aisle Containment include:

  • Reduces cost
  • Eliminates hot spots 
  • Supports heat and power densities up to 30kW per cabinet
  • Effectively uses 100% of supplied air
  • Reduces waste of chilled bypass air 
  • Improves CRAC efficiencies due to higher supply-to-return temperature differences
  • Allows increased room temperature and higher set points on cooling equipment

Monitoring at the rack/device level 

CPI eConnect® power distribution units (PDUs) provide reliable power distribution and monitoring of power and environment. Featuring one of the highest temperature ratings in the market, eConnect PDUs are a future-proof solution for the consolidation and high optimization of servers (higher heat in racks). 

Benefits include:

  • Monitoring at the device level provides true power in values for each device, which can be matched to workloads using software.
  • Secure Array™ IP Consolidation reduces the costs associated with multiple IP addresses and enhance system reliability through advanced failover technology.
  • Select models feature built-in web interface with many key DCIM software that accepts SNMP v1, v2 and v3.

DCIM Software

A real-time interactive data center health map of critical infrastructure including CRACs, UPSs, floor PDUs, racks, rack PDUs, IT devices, etc. improves uptime by letting data center managers being aware of incidents before they become problems.

CPI offers Power IQ® for eConnect, which not only provides a relative measure of facility power versus overall IT equipment power, enabling efficiency identification and improvement, but also includes crucial features such as:

  • User configurable dashboard
  • Smart rack view
  • Cooling chart
  • Power capacity forecast charts
  • PUE gauge
  • Power and energy analytics
  • Failover simulation chart


According to the OMB, the federal government owned more than 10,000 data centers and server rooms in 2015. By 2018, 25% of all tiered and 60% of all nontiered data centers are required to be closed. Agencies are also required to prioritize the closure of data centers that are unable to meet applicable PUE targets and/or pose management or security challenges due to age.

The trend is undeniable. Power efficiency and cooling are and will remain top priorities for years to come, especially as the smaller data centers consolidate or move to more robust colocation spaces. 

Whether you are designing a new data center or enhancing an existing one, look for manufacturers that provide solutions based on your specific needs, especially ones that can help you:

  • Maximize efficiency of data center cooling and energy consumption
  • Keep equipment connected with efficient power distribution
  • Monitor conditions such as power, environment and security

To learn more about solutions for a highly efficient data center, click here.

Raissa Carey, eContent Specialist

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