CADE (Corporate Average Data center Efficiency)

CADE (Corporate Average Data center Efficiency) is a metric used to rate the overall energy efficiency of an organization's data centers. CADE was introduced in a joint repot from the Uptime Institute and McKinsey that proposed the metric as a single key performance indicator that could be used to compare the energy consumption of one data center against another. CADE combines measurements of the energy efficiency and utilization of IT equipment and facilities into a single percentage. A higher CADE indicates a more energy efficient data center.

The formula for CADE is:

CADE = Facility Efficiency (FE) x Asset Efficiency (AE)

  • Facility Efficiency (FE) is equal to (Facility Energy Efficiency) x (Facility Utilization)
  • Asset Efficiency (AE) is equal to (IT Energy Efficiency) x (IT utilization)

CADE can be used to:

  • Monitor data center performance.
  • Measure how one organization's data centers compare to a competitor's IT operations.
  • Gauge the return on investment (ROI) on a green computing initiative.

Critics of CADE point out that the metric doesn't accurately reflect utilitization gains made by removing downed servers or address the utilitization or energy efficiency of outsourced servers at hosting providers. If widely adopted by operators and external regulators, however, CADE could serve a similar purpose in the IT operations of the world's corporations as the mandatory CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards do in the automobile industry.

This was last updated in June 2008

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