Data center power consumption has grown substantially in the past 20 years. According to the United States Data Center Energy Usage Report, the data center consumption in 2014 was estimated at 70 billion kWh, which accounted for 1.8% of the total U.S. electricity. The present effort investigates the effects of various data center parameters on a new set of metrics called the performance indicator to help assess and optimize the cooling performance of data centers. The three metrics in the performance indicator include power usage effectiveness ratio (PUEr), thermal conformance, and thermal resilience. The data center parameters investigated include computer room air handler (CRAH) setpoints, room configuration layouts, and containment strategies. The results show that the CRAH setpoint significantly influences the PUEr with higher setpoint values resulting in lower PUEr values. Room configuration layout changes and containment strategies showed substantial effects on thermal conformance and thermal resilience. The thermal conformance was increased approximately 10% with room configuration changes without changing the PUEr. Full hot aisle containment also improved the thermal conformance by 7.4%.