The Calibrated Data Center – Using Engineering Simulation

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356eb19Jose Ruiz is an accomplished data center professional with a proven track record of success. Mr. Ruiz serves as Compass Datacenters’ Director of Engineering where he is responsible for all of the company’s sales engineering and development support activities. Prior to joining Compass, he spent 4 years serving in various sales engineering positions and was responsible for a global range of projects at Digital Realty Trust. Mr. Ruiz is an expert on CFD modeling.

Prior to Digital Realty Trust, Mr. Ruiz was a pilot in the United States Navy where he was awarded two Navy Achievement Medals for leadership and outstanding performance. He continues to serve in the Navy’s Individual Ready Reserve. Mr. Ruiz is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Bio- Mechanical Engineering.

The Calibrated Data Center – Using Engineering Simulation

Better information leads to better decisions

by Jose Ruiz

New tools have dramatically enhanced the ability of data center operators to base decisions regarding capacity planning and operational performance like move, adds, and changes on actual data. The combined use of modeling technologies to effectively calibrate the data center during the commissioning process and the use of these benchmarks in modeling prospective configuration scenarios enable end users to optimize the efficiency of their facilities prior to the movement or addition of a single rack.

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Data center construction is expected to continue growing in coming years to house the compute and storage capacity needed to support the geometric increases in data volume that will characterize our technological environment for the foreseeable future. As a result, data center operators will find themselves under ever- increasing pressure to fulfill dynamic requirements in the most optimized environment possible. Every kilowatt (kW) of cooling capacity will become increasingly precious, and operators will need to understand the best way to deliver it proactively.

As Uptime Institute’s Lee Kirby explains in “Start With the End in Mind”, a data center’s ongoing operations should be the driving force behind its design, construction, and commissioning processes.

This paper examines performance calibration and its impact on ongoing operations. To maximize data center resources, Compass performs a variety of analyses using Future Facilities’ 6SigmaDCX and Romonet’s Software Suite. In the sections that follow, I will discuss how predictive modeling during data center design, the commissioning process, and finally, the calibration processes validate the predictive models. Armed with the calibrated model, a customer can study the impact of proposed modifications on data center performance before any IT equipment is physically installed in the data center. This practice helps data center operators account for the three key elements during facility operations: availability, capacity, and efficiency. Compass calls this continuous modeling.

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What is a Predictive Model?

A predictive model, in a general sense, combines the physical attributed and operating data of a system and uses that to calculate an outcome in the future. The 6Sigma model provides complete 3D representation of a data center at any given point in its life cycle. Combining the physical elements of IT equipment, racks, cables, air handling units (AHUs), power distribution units (PDUs), etc., with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and power modeling, enables designers and operators to predict the impact of their configuration on future data center performance. Compass uses commercially available performance modeling and CFD tools to model data center performance in the following ways:

  • CFD software creates a virtual facility model and studies the physics of the cooling and power elements of the data center (see Figure 1).
  • The modeling tool interrogates the individual components that make up the data center and compare their actual performance with the initial modeling prediction.This proactive modeling process allows operators to fine tune performance and identify potential operational issues at the component level. A service provider, for example, could use this process to maximize the sellable capacity of the facility and/or its ability to meet the service level agreements (SLA) requirements for new as well as existing customers.

Read the complete white-paper Here

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