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"Sustainable Information Technology Ecosystem: Optimizing Datacenter Power and Cooling"
-- Chandrakant D. Patel, HP Fellow and Director, Sustainable IT Ecosystem Laboratory, Hewlett Packard Laboratories

Presentation Slides: "Sustainable Information Technology Ecosystem" by Chandrakant Patel (1.6 MB PDF)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

  • Registration at 11:30 AM; Buffet lunch served from 11:45 - 12:15 ($15 if reserved by April 21; $20 at door; vegetarian available); presentation at 12:15.
    Ramada Inn
  • 1217 Wildwood Ave (Fwy 101 frontage road, between Lawrence Expressway and Great America Parkway), Sunnyvale, (800) 888-3899 -- see map.


  • If you pay using our PayPal link, you are automatically registered for the lunch and meeting
  • Otherwise, for lunch and meeting, pre-register by email to Ed Aoki,
    Economics and sustainability drive the need to manage available energy as a key resource in devising today’s information technology services accessed by billions of users and availed from thousands of data centers. The overwhelming “burdened” cost of delivery of power to a dense aggregation of industry standard compute, networking and storage hardware in a data center necessitates treating the data center as the computer with an end-to-end management system that provisions the resources based on the need. Billions of ubiquitous client devices, with immense text and video functionalities, further tax the power needs of the compute utility. Besides power required for electronics in handheld devices, power will soon be required to drive “active” cooling solutions in these devices. Active cooling solutions will be required as a result of technology trends resulting in high power density due to semiconductor technology miniaturization and integration, integrated photonics and emergence of 3d chip packaging. Enabling sustainable ubiquitous connectivity will require judicious provisioning of available energy.

    We present a framework for dynamic need-based provisioning of resources using pervasive sensing and control to minimize consumption of available energy. The thermal challenges arising from high power density microprocessors and servers in data centers are examined and a “smart” data center is motivated based on total cost of ownership and sustainability. The work required in the information technology (IT) stack – chip, system and data center – is examined, and a framework to enable “right” provisioning of available energy is proposed. To address the multi-scale problem (microns to meters) and sustainability, a metric based on the 2nd law of thermodynamics that quantifies performance based on available energy (exergy) is proposed. The need for multi-disciplinary collaboration between computer science, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering emerges as the salient message of the talk.

    Speaker Biography
        Chandrakant Patel is an HP Fellow and director of the Sustainable IT Ecosystem Lab, committed to creating new business models and technologies for the lower-carbon economy that save money and leave a lighter footprint on the world. At HP Labs, Patel pioneered a holistic approach to power and cooling that encompasses everything from chips to systems to racks to the data center itself. Dubbed “smart cooling,” the vision was to dynamically provision cooling commensurate with the heat loads in a data center, and to provision computing, and thus the heat loads, based on the available cooling resources.
        Patel played a key role in establishing HP's leadership in energy-efficient computing by founding HP Labs' thermal technology research program in the early 1990s, and subsequently the data-center architecture program. He foresaw the thermal-management challenges associated with high power density due to miniaturization in semiconductor technologies, and the need to manage energy as a key resource as enterprise IT system resources became increasingly connected and shared. He initiated the research in “smart” data center, emphasizing that the “data is the computer” and it requires a management system that enables dynamic provisioning compute, power and cooling resources based on the need.
        Patel joined HP Labs in 1991, initially leading the cooling and packaging research of the Wide Word microprocessor. This research contributed to what later became Intel's Itanium, which represented the next generation of microprocessors.
        In addition to his work at HP, Patel has taught computer-aided design as an adjunct faculty member at Chabot College in Hayward, undergraduate and graduate-level thermal management courses at University of California, Berkeley Extension, Santa Clara University and San Jose State University.
        He has authored many refereed journal and conference papers in the area of electronics cooling and has been granted more than 95 U.S. patents. He is a Senior Member of IEEE. Patel has been honored as a distinguished alumnus by both San Jose State University and City College of San Francisco.

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