Center for Experimental Research in Computer Systems Open Cirrus Summit 2011
Oct 12-13, Atlanta, Georgia

Importance of Experiments in Characterizing Data Center Thermal Environments
-- Yogendra Joshi, Georgia Tech

Cooling has been estimated to contribute 30%-50% to the overall electrical energy consumption of data centers. Currently, air cooling is the predominant approach for thermal management of these facilities. Proper delivery of cooling air to the computing hardware is key for their efficient and reliable operation. Data centers air flows and resulting temperatures near server cabinets will be the focus of this presentation. A richly instrumented 111 m2 data center laboratory is utilized for these measurements. Air velocity patterns are measured using particle image velocimetry, and local air temperatures are measured using a mobile grid based system. The measurements reveal the complex three-dimensional flow and temperature patterns, which strongly impact the cooling. These measurements present the opportunity of refinements in current models of these facilities.

Yogendra Joshi is Professor and John M. McKenney and Warren D. Shiver Distinguished Chair at the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research interests are in multi-scale thermal management. He received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur in 1979, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York, Buffalo in 1981, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. He is the author or co-author of over 250 archival journal and conference publications, and is an elected Fellow of the ASME and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served as Associate Editor for the ASME J. of Electronics Packaging (two terms) and the ASME J. Heat Transfer, and is currently an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions in Components and Packaging Technologies. He was a co-recipient of ASME Curriculum Innovation Award (1999), Inventor Recognition Award from the Semiconductor Research Corporation (2001), the ASME Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division Outstanding Contribution Award in Thermal Management (2006), ASME J. of Electronics Packaging Best Paper of the Year Award (2008), IBM Faculty Award (2008), IEEE Semitherm Significant Contributor Award (2009), and IIT Kanpur Distinguished Alumnus Award (2011).

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