Binghamton University

The fully instrumented 4,500-square-foot ES2 data center laboratory at Binghamton is available for ES2 researchers and IAB member companies. This laboratory has the scale of a mid-range data center, but unlike a real data center, disruptive experiments may be carried out. There are three cold aisles, two of which are fully contained. The laboratory incorporates different types of cooling facilities (traditional chilled air cooling, rear door heat exchangers using chilled water, warm water and two-phase cooling) to permit experiments involving different cooling technologies that are seen in legacy as well as state-of-the-art data centers. 

This facility has eight racks of storage servers, 40 racks of 2U, 6U and blade compute server racks. Another 30 racks are now being populated. The networking infrastructures within this data center laboratory consist of 10 Gbits/sec. Ethernet with 40 Gbits/sec. backbones, and extensive switched optical fiber-based connections for the large storage arrays and load balancing switches. A DC power distribution system was recently added for research exploring the benefits of hybrid AC/DC power distribution in data centers and an aisle of DC powered blade servers with 48 blade servers in each rack is available. 

A recent award from SUNY will infuse an additional $1M worth of equipment into this data center lab. A separate 1,200-foot staging laboratory and another separate laboratory space for a full-sized container-based data center are also available to ES2 researchers.

The data center lab uses 480V AC, 208V AC and 380V DC power sources. The 380 V DC power is derived from the 480 V AC source by Emerson Netsure rectification and regulation units. All power sources are monitored. A facility UPS supporting the full load of a high-density aisle and AC and DC PDUs, in each rack, readable in real time complete the power delivery chain.

The laboratory has extensive instrumentation and controls in hardware and software to permit a wide variety of experiments. On the IT side, these instrumentation include the ability to measure power consumption of individual servers, server load statistics, network traffic, all in real time and the ability to generate realistic loads on individual servers, racks, aisles and the data center as a whole. The instrumentation and controls on the cooling systems and thermal side include the ability to measure temperatures in various zones of the servers, sensor meshes for measuring air velocities and air temperatures and dedicated instrumentation to measure water flow rates and temperature, all in real time. Software/hardware facilities exist to control CRAC fan speeds, inlet temperatures and adjust the mix of chilled and warm water. 

A separate facility at Binghamton houses two flowbenches, associated instrumentation and imaging systems. These are used in research related to air-cooled systems. Another facility affiliated with the data center lab houses Open Compute Platform servers donated by Facebook, which are used for research related to rack-level cooling systems for high-density storage and compute trays. A separate thermal phenomenon laboratory provides a wide variety of modeling and simulation tools.

At Binghamton, ES2 is part of S3IP, a New York State Center of Excellence. ES2 has access to facilities and personnel associated with S3IP and is housed in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Center of Excellence Building.