Green data centers

UD faculty join JPMorgan Chase, IBM, Syracuse in research discussions

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8:02 a.m., June 5, 2012--The University of Delaware’s Institute for Financial Service Analytics, together with Syracuse University (SU) and JPMorgan Chase, recently held a research forum on “green data centers” as part of the strategic collaboration with JPMorgan Chase focused on building a pipeline of technology talent. 

The forum, which was conducted via video conference in the JPMorgan Chase Innovation Center on UD’s Newark campus, gave researchers and faculty the chance to come together to discuss joint research projects on green data centers to help drive innovation.

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In response to challenges like rising energy costs, environmental regulations and growing datacenters, a green data center is a holistic approach for an organization to build more efficient and sustainable infrastructures.

Jeff Saltz, university research lead at JPMorgan Chase, kicked off the forum with Bintong Chen, professor and associate dean for research in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and Chris Sedore, chief information officer at SU.

Faculty from both UD and SU then presented specific research opportunities related to green data centers.

Keith Goossen, associate professor of electrical engineering at UD and director of the Mid-Atlantic Industrial Assessment Center, spoke about energy audit methodologies for information technology installations. 

According to Goossen, since 2006 UD has been home to one of 20 Department of Energy-funded Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) in the United States that perform energy audits of local manufacturing plants with the goals of enhancing manufacturing through cost savings and training students in energy efficiency.

“The UD center has performed nearly 100 audits with average implemented savings due to the recommendations made of $90,000 annually per plant visited and about 25 students have been trained and gone on to work in the energy industry,” said Goossen.

“An extension of the IAC program to data centers could potentially provide energy and cost savings through recommendations, reveal new forms of energy savings in IT equipment and provide HVAC benchmarking against published norms for the industry.”

Xiaoming Li and Chengmo Yang, assistant professors of electrical engineering at UD, followed Goossen with a presentation titled “Green and Delicious: Balance Performance, Energy, and Reliability in Data Centers.”

Their proposal spoke to the high degree of asymmetry that exists in terms of performance, energy and reliability, and suggested that data placement and workload distribution matters and cost-efficiency requires application-specific solutions.

Researchers from SU talked about interests and opportunities in the exploration of a “free air” cooled data center for the application/compute backbone for JPMorgan Chase, as well as the application of technologies like tiered storage.

The forum concluded with perspectives from individuals at IBM and JPMorgan Chase, and brainstorming among all attendees about potential areas of collaboration.

Article by Kathryn Meier

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