Facebook has just taken a bit of internal data center energy efficiency wizardry and made it available to the world. On Thursday, it opened access to the minute-by-minute power-use effectiveness (PUE) and water-use effectiveness (WUE) scores via dashboards for its Prineville, Ore. and Forest City, N.C. data centers, and promises to have its next super-efficient data center in Luleå, Sweden on-line soon.
For the social networking giant, it’s another stage in its push to green its image and to convince more data center operators to talk openly about their efficiency efforts, as well as an attempt to get critics like Greenpeace off its back for still using coal-fired power. But it’s also an interesting chance to highlight the relative value of such real-time, big-data efforts to squeeze the hardest-to-reach efficiencies out of an already super-efficient set of assets.
Let’s start with the caveats first. While Facebook’s current dashboards are indeed tracking changes in PUE and WUE on a minute-by-minute basis, those tracking lines are all on a 2.5-hour delay. That’s better than its former quarterly reports, but still not technically real-time.