DCOI One Year Later: Assessing your Data Center

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It’s been nearly a year since the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) was handed down. Now, we are only 18 months away from having to be fully compliant. Has your agency made any progress? Do you have a full picture of your data center footprint and visibility into the facility’s performance? If not, or if you want a better view, a data center assessment is a key tool on the path to meeting the mandate and attaining the PUE goal.

Knowing that any new administration brings change, you may be tempted to wait, thinking there will be some type of amendment to DCOI. However, our years of experience in the public sector shows that saving money is always a top priority. Since cost reduction through consolidation and optimization is a foremost result of this directive, we caution against pausing your efforts.

Plus, if you were one of the 40 percent of respondents to our 2016 survey of government data center professionals who said you plan to wait one year or more to comply  — the time is now. Remember, if your data center is compliant, then you are not as likely to be a candidate for further consolidation.


Efficiency Assessment

In order to understand where your data center needs to be, you must first understand where it is. An overall assessment involves evaluating your current assets, which often starts with data you supply. However, we can also conduct an onsite asset collection or assessment.

The first provides a simplistic site inventory including asset age, status, part number, and serial number. The latter is a more comprehensive review of the IT environment including power and cooling performance, inventories, layouts, pictures and recommendations.

In fact, since achieving PUE of <1.5 is both complicated and the ultimate requirement of DCOI, the first-time data center efficiency is measured, it should be part of an over-all efficiency assessment by experts. On top of making an efficiency measurement, a data center efficiency assessment typically provides an analysis of the as-built configuration and recommendations regarding efficiency improvement.

Ideally, an assessment should provide a mathematical model of the data center as one of its deliverables and it also helps identify problem areas and provide recommendations for quick, inexpensive fixes and for organizing a long-term energy efficiency strategy.



Implementing data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software is also a condition of DCOI. The solution simplifies, automates and manages critical infrastructure in and around the data center and can help provide a true understanding of PUE, thus the two requirements are tightly intertwined.

DCIM identifies all the elements in the power chain to provide an immediate profile of your energy costs and PUE, as well as calculate the longer-term impact. From there, you’ll discover opportunity for improvement beyond just efficiency, including reduced capital and operational expenses, lower risk of downtime and higher business availability.

Calculating PUE is a complex undertaking and realizing the benefit of DCIM for the first time can be a challenge, and that’s why we are here to help. Lofty efficiency goals have long been part of the private sector’s data center strategy, and we have teams that work across verticals. Thus, leading agencies can benefit from our experience working not just with them in trenches, but from our work with leading financial, manufacturing and hosting companies, as well as retailers and healthcare providers.

As we strive towards the September 30, 2018 deadline, you can request a PUE assessment by contacting your Schneider Electric representative or by emailing: govteam@apc.com.


Learn more about assessing and improving data center efficiency by reading our free whitepaper 250: DCOI Compliance: A Guide to Improving PUE in U.S. Federal Data Centers.

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