February 8, 2019
Data center innovation: Lower PUE means savings for our customers

One number that OVHcloud™ has been obsessed with since its early days designing data centers is the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of its data centers. PUE is fairly self-explanatory: how efficiently is my data center using energy? 

Of course, there’s a “green” aspect to lowering PUE, but there are also economic benefits. To put it in context, your house’s utilities probably fluctuate during the year with the weather. To mitigate the higher costs in the winter and the summer, you probably open your windows and turn off the heat or air conditioning when it’s nice outside. You almost certainly turn lights off as you are leaving a room. You’re trying to control your own personal PUE and lower your power bill.

Data centers are no different. By finding ways to reduce energy usage, service providers can reduce overhead. It’s one of the big reasons OVHcloud is able to offer reduced pricing

PUE is measured by dividing the total energy a data center consumes by the amount of energy dedicated to IT hardware. The closer a data center is to 1.0, the more efficient it is. TechTarget has stated that the average PUE of a typical data center is 2.5. OVHcloud boasts one of the lowest in the industry, averaging 1.09 across its data centers.

OVHcloud achieves such a low PUE through a number of data center design innovations, but the one that we are the most proud of is that we run our data centers with no air conditioning. We were one of the first companies to utilize liquid cooling: a mixture consisting mostly of water runs a maze on the CPU. Cold water goes in, and warm water comes out.

Liquid cooling makes up approximately 70% of our cooling techniques. The rest is achieved by circulating natural air. 

By continuing to find ways to lower our PUE, we are able to reduce the overhead associated with maintaining our data centers, and we are ultimately able to pass that advantage on to our customers in the form of lower costs. 

You can learn more about OVHcloud, our data centers, and our global footprint here.