NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Oct 1, 2015) -  As total cost of ownership (TCO) models for data center power protection systems become more widely deployed, a range of approaches and standards for calculating long-term returns are emerging, according to a recent survey of AGRION and GridMarket members.

Eighty-seven percent of all respondents -- data center managers, engineers and consultants -- use some combination of both capital expenses (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx) to calculate TCO metrics. Yet, the metrics and standards for calculating power efficiency, including where along the power distribution system to measure efficiency or even the organizational rationale for TCO evaluation, vary by data center function.

"Calculating TCO used to involve just filling out a spreadsheet detailing purchase and installation capital costs versus long-term operating expenses such as power efficiency or maintenance," said Nick Davis of AGRION. "Today, our members managing data centers tell us that TCO is a critical planning tool, one that involves a number of options and variables." 

Power Efficiency and Third-Party Metrics

While the efficiency of power distribution and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) protection is a core TCO measure, respondents used a wide variety of industry association standards to gauge power conversion efficiency. The GreenGrid's Data Maturity Model was used by half the respondents, followed by a combination of standards offered by the Uptime Institute, ASHRAE TC 9.9, AFCOM and TIA.

A trend toward measuring TCO power efficiency across the entire power distribution path -- from utility input to computing loads - also is shown in the study. Thirty-seven percent of companies in the survey noted that they use broader measures, such as power use effectiveness (PUE). One respondent cited "measuring power-to-information technology (IT)" as part of their TCO metric, while one company measured the efficiency of "watts per virtual machine" including IT processor, RAM and storage. 

"These various power conversion measures demonstrates that the industry knows that power efficiency is important to their bottom line," Davis continued. "Of the organizations responding to this survey, a full half said that having TCO numbers for data center power efficiency was being driven by their chief financial officers."

The study further shows that the group responsible for evaluating TCO and efficiency falls to data center managers (31 percent), purchasing departments (25 percent) and consulting specifying engineers (25 percent).

TCO as One of Several Evaluation Factors

"One of the more interesting findings in this study was that even though TCO is a core metric in purchase or upgrade evaluations, other factors such as the need for multiple suppliers and internal competing interests between short-term CapEx and long-term OpEx, also impacted data center power acquisition decisions," said Davis. 

Join in the conversation
Following the conversation generated by this first phase of the survey, AGRION and GridMarket have taken the results and formulated a Phase II. If you are involved with data center facility management at any level, please take a moment to complete this brief, anonymous survey. Your participation in the conversation is greatly appreciated.

AGRION and GridMarket create digital and physical marketplaces to support the growth of a sustainable, resilient future. AGRION highlights thought-leadership through roundtable discussions and working groups, while GridMarket is a robust digital marketplace that links distributed energy projects and essential development information with a trusted supplier network. For more information about our company, click here.

Contact Information:

Contact for media inquiries:

Jillian R. Caramanna
AGRION and GridMarket

+1 (315) 408 8146