How to Calibrate a Data Center

What is a Valid Data Center Model? An Introduction to Calibration for Modeling & Simulation

Future Facilities’ CTO Mark Seymour publishes the first in a series of white-papers discussing model refinement and calibration when predictively modeling a data center

Download the pdf here: http://bit.ly/CalibratedDatacenter

Future Facilities, a leading provider of data center design and operations management software, today announced that Mark Seymour, data center cooling expert and chief technical officer at Future Facilities, has published the first in a series of white papers explaining the importance of model refinement and calibration when predictively modeling the availability, physical capacity and cooling efficiency of a data center. Aimed at owner-operators, What is a Valid Data Center Model? An Introduction to Calibration for Predictive Modeling brings clarity to an area of data center operations that is increasingly important.

“while the overall facility is complex, many of the individual elements can be individually assessed”

For many data center owner-operators, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to predictively model the impact that future changes will have on availability, physical capacity and cooling efficiency (ACE), or to help resolve ACE problems in a data center, is second nature.

GUI Model Image

And, despite the historical connotations that CFD brings to mind – a complex and intimidating solution requiring expert knowledge to use – the reality is that predictive modeling has never been simpler or easier for the lay person to take advantage of.

But the success of predictive modeling still lies ultimately in the hands of the user. Summed up colloquially as “garbage in, garbage out”, the most pressing dangers for predictive modelers are that their computer models lack fidelity and are uncalibrated. Why? Because low-fidelity models (garbage in) lead to inaccurate results (garbage out) that bear no resemblance to reality (uncalibrated).

For some, the solution to the “garbage in, garbage out” challenge is not to improve the model and calibrate it, but to lazily fix the results of the model to match what is being seen in real life. “That renders the model useless”, says Seymour. Instead, “owner-operators and consultants must exercise due diligence: review and measure the actual installation, then improve the accuracy of the model until it produces dependable results”.

So, how do you make the model dependable? How do you calibrate it? Seymour’s paper provides introductory answers to exactly that question, highlighting that it is a fairly simple process, but one that benefits from a systematic approach. He promises follow-on papers later in the year that will cover specific problem areas, but for the moment he reveals in this paper what 20 years’ experience has taught him are the most common mistakes that people make.

Using real life examples illustrated using Future Facilities’ 6SigmaDC suite of tools, he shows how to overcome systematic errors affecting floor tiles, grilles, cabinets, cable bundles and other common data center objects. Seymour also provides advice on the “tough modeling decisions”, including whether or not to model poorly defined obstructions “such as water pipes under a cooling unit”. Specific advice is provided for calibration of the air supply system and its component parts, with Seymour cautioning upfront, “Do not overlook the fact that it is not just the bulk airflow that matters, but also the flow distribution”.

By the end of the text, the reader will not only have a sound appreciation for good, systematic calibration practice, but also understand that, “while the overall facility is complex, many of the individual elements can be individually assessed”. Seymour concludes by saying, “this will make it possible to diagnose why the initial model does not adequately represent the facility… normally, it won’t!”.

Download the pdf here: http://bit.ly/CalibratedDatacenter

About Mark Seymour:

Mark Seymour is chief technical officer and a founding member at Future Facilities, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary. With an academic background in applied science and numerical mathematics, Mark enjoyed a successful career in the defense industry for over a decade before moving to the commercial sector. There he has since accumulated 20 years’ experience in the cooling of data center and communication environments. A recognized expert in the predictive modeling of airflow for building HVAC and data centers in particular, Mark is an industrial advisory board member of NSF-ES2 research program and a corresponding member actively participating in ASHRAE TC9.9.

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Video: The Calibrated Data Center

Datacenter Industry Perspective

Watch the video here: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2015/03/25/video-calibrated-data-center/

Screenshot 2015-03-27 09.23.15

The issue with many new “next big things” is that they tend to skip one or more essential steps. In this brief video, Compass Datacenters’ CEO, Chris Crosby, will explain why calibrating your data center is the essential step required to accurately measure and model data center performance and provides the necessary bridge to new capabilities like the Software Defined Data Center.

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Improving Monitoring with Simulation – Part 4 Trending

Before we start, let us be clear about one thing: environmental monitoring and measurement systems are critical components in managing your data center. This is not a ‘one versus the other’.

This video series takes a look at the unforeseen risks in running a data center that relies solely on environmental monitoring.

We would like to hear from you! Please let me know if there are specific situations we could show in our upcoming video demos or message me privately to discuss in more detail. Thank you for your time and support!

Start this series from the beginning Part 1 Thermal Mapping http://bit.ly/part1CFD

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Death of the Data Center

Originally posted on AVOA:

Back in 2011, Mark Thiele (@mthiele10), Jan Wiersma (@jmwiersma) and I shared the stage at a conference in London, England for a panel discussion on the future of data centers. The three of us are founding board members with Data Center Pulse; an industry association of data center owners and operators with over 6,000 members that span the globe.

Our common theme for the panel: Death of the Data Center. Our message was clear and poignant. After decades of data center growth, a significant change was both needed and on the horizon. And this change was about to turn the entire industry in its head. The days of building and operating data centers of all shapes, sizes and types throughout the world was about to end. The way data centers are consumed has changed.

Fast forward the clock to 2014, a different conference (ECF/ DCE)…

View original 601 more words

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Improving Monitoring with Simulation – Part 3 Deployment

This video series takes a look at the unforeseen risks in running a data center that relies solely on environmental monitoring.

We would like to hear from you! Please let me know if there are specific situations we could show in our upcoming video demos or message me privately to discuss in more detail. Thank you for your time and support!

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Improving Monitoring with Simulation – Part 2 Asset Safety

Before we start, let us be clear about one thing: environmental monitoring and measurement systems are critical components in managing your data center. This is not a ‘one versus the other’.

This video series takes a look at the unforeseen risks in running a data center that relies solely on environmental monitoring. In this second video, we will investigate why the cabinet sensor may not be a good indicator of your IT inlet temperature.

The value of monitoring systems is without question because they visualize what is happening in your data center right now, and they are the only reliable way for you to be alerted to critical problems caused by failure or human error. Despite this, monitoring has some very serious blind spots.

Here are three compelling reasons why relying on monitoring alone will leave you vulnerable… and three reasons why a dedicated data center simulation tool will overcome these limitations. In short, here are the reasons why you should have both monitoring and simulation.

1) YOU CAN’T MONITOR EVERYWHERE

Tech Takeaway: “…air temperature in a data center can vary by as much as 1 degree C per centimeter. If your three ASHRAE recommended sensors are several feet apart, that’s an awful lot of temperature variation that you’re not actually monitoring.”

2) YOU CAN’T MONITOR RESILIENCE

Tech Takeaway: “There really are only two reliable ways of measuring your resilience. Once comes at great risk, the other at zero risk; either you fail something for real, or you model that same failure in a safe simulation environment using CFD.”

3) YOU CAN’T MONITOR THE FUTURE

Tech Takeaway: “The answers to ‘What if…’ questions lie with the behavior of your cooling airflow, and we can tell you that it’s a fickle beast. No amount of historic data will let you tame it and projecting past performance onto future changes provides only the illusion of control.”

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WEBCAST – 3 Blind Spots in Data Center Monitoring

Webinar_250315

Join Future Facilities for this informative webinar about why you should have both monitoring and CFD.

The value of monitoring systems is without question because they visualize what is happening in your data center right now, and they are the only reliable way for you to be alerted to critical problems caused by failure or human error. Despite this, monitoring has some very serious blind spots.

Join us to learn of three compelling reasons why relying on monitoring alone will leave you vulnerable… and three reasons why a dedicated data center computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tool will overcome these limitations. In short why you should have both monitoring and CFD.

Date and Time…

Date: Wednesday 25th March2015

Time: 09:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 4:00pm GMT
11:00am PST /  2:00pm EST / 6:00pm GMT

REGISTER CLICK HERE

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