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Academia and Industry form Partnership to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Data Centers

Academia and Industry form Partnership to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Data Centers

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems (ES2) has announced a new strategic partnership with 7x24 Exchange International, the leading knowledge exchange for those who design, build, operate and maintain mission-critical enterprise information infrastructures.  ES2, an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC), works in partnership with government, industry and academia to develop systematic methodologies for efficiently operating electronic systems, including data centers, by controlling resources and managing workloads to achieve optimal energy consumption. Demonstrating the group’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, the 7x24 Exchange will work closely with ES2 to research new areas of energy-efficiency to collectively provide significant value to our industry and to the country as a whole.

A partnership between Villanova University, Binghamton University, The University of Texas at Arlington and the Georgia Institute of Technology, the goal of ES2 is to improve the energy efficiency and productivity of the country’s data centers by 20-35%, which translates to one to two less power plants every three years while still meeting data center growth demand. This achievement is equivalent to the complete elimination of the greenhouse gas emission from ~1.5-2.7 million cars or ~1-1.7 million homes in the US annually (U.S. EPA, 2011).

ES2 Villanova site director, Dr. Alfonso Ortega, also the University’s Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Programs, explains how this collaborative effort with 7x24 Exchange will impact the industry: “Computer scientists, and mechanical and electrical engineers from both academia and industry, link the fields of information technology, dynamic systems control, electronic systems and electronic cooling for a holistic approach to the development and design of energy-efficient electronic systems.” He recognized Dave Crocker, chief executive and chairman of Steel ORCA, a digital utility center (DUC), as being instrumental in bringing 7x24 Exchange and ES2 together. “Dave seems to know everyone in the data center industry, and has shown his unwavering support for the work we’re doing by bringing all the players to the table,” says Dr. Ortega. Steel ORCA, a 7x24 Exchange member, recently broke ground in Princeton, N.J. for the nation’s’ first full service DUC / data center, designed to serve the New York and Philadelphia markets.

7x24 Exchange chairman and CEO Robert J. Cassiliano will represent the organization on the ES2 Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) and has created a technical committee of well-respected industry professionals. Chaired by 7x24 Exchange President David Schirmacher, the committee will assist in providing technical guidance. Cassiliano states, "7x24 Exchange will provide ES2 students and professors with access to ‘real world’ education, industry experts and potential employers at 7x24 Exchange conferences. We can also provide ES2 with a platform from which to present information, as well as the opportunity to recruit new corporate members by utilizing our conferences, magazines and website."

Dr. Ortega and ES2 Center Director, Dr. Baghat Sammakia, Vice President of Research at Binghamton University, will deliver a keynote presentation at the upcoming 7x24 Exchange national meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. in June. With the theme “The Data Revolution—End-to-End Reliability: Mission Critical Facilities,” Drs. Ortega and Sammakia will present “The National Science Foundation Center for Energy Smart Electronic Systems (ES2) and 7x24 Exchange: A Partnership for Energy Sustainable Data Centers.”

To learn more about 7x24 Exchange, visit their website at Information about the ES2 Villanova site can be found at