Unigroup's June 2015 Meeting Announcements


Modern Data Center Infrastructure Overview: Trends, Challenges & Opportunities

Robert E. McFarlane,
Principal Data Center Designer - Shen, Milsom & Wilke, LLC,
Adjunct Professor - Marist College

Thursday, 18-JUN-2015      (** 3rd Thursday **)

The Cooper Union
School of Engineering   (*** NEW BUILDING ***)
41 Cooper Square    (3rd Avenue @ 7th Street, between 6th & 7th Streets)
East Village, Manhattan
New York City, 10003
Meeting Room: 104_CS    (*** 1st Floor ***)
** Please RSVP **

6:15 - 6:30 PM Registration
6:30 - 6:45 PM Ask the Wizard - Questions, Answers and Current Events
6:45 - 7:00 PM Unigroup Business
7:00 - 9:30 PM Main Presentation

Please see the Fee Schedule below.


Unigroup is pleased to announce our May 2015 meeting on using DTrace to explore the Design and Implementation of the The FreeBSD Operating System.

Our speaker is George Neville-Neil, who has presented at Unigroup on a number of occasions, and who is the co-author of "The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System", whose most recent edition was recently released.


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      The Cooper Union  (http://www.cooper.edu)
      School of Engineering  (*** New Building ***)
      41 Cooper Square (3rd Avenue @ 7th Street, between 6th & 7th Streets)
      East Village, Manhattan
      New York City, 10003
      Meeting Room: ** (See Above, Room May Change Month-to-Month)

   Located on the East side of Cooper Square.  Look for the
   new building with the non-traditional appearance.
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   Nearest mass transit stations are:
     '6'           to Astor Place (stops right at The Cooper Union),
                   then walk 1 block East and 1 block South.
     'R'           to 8th Street, then walk about 2 blocks East
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     'B/D/F/V'     to Broadway-Lafayette, then walk North and East.
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   There are parking lots on Broadway, at (or just South of) 8th
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Topic: Modern Data Center Infrastructure Overview: Trends, Challenges & Opportunities

Introduction & Description of Talk:

Modern Data Centers are among the most complex facilities designers and operators can face, and the requirements are constantly changing and challenging the capabilities of technology to keep up.

This session will attempt to condense the many inter-related elements of the Data Center Infrastructure into an overview that covers the latest trends, codes, standards and practices in the areas of power, cooling, energy efficiency, lighting, fire protection, physical security, cabling, and more.

Since this is more than can be fully covered in the time available, emphasis will be placed on the most recent industry information, with audience inter-action determining what topics to discuss in more depth.

Presentation Outline:

  1. Infrastructure Challenges
    1. Power & Heat Density
    2. Energy Efficiency
    3. Space
    4. Management & Control

  2. Changing Codes & Standards
    1. ASHRAE 90.1
      1. ASHRAE SPC 90.4P
    2. ASHRAE TC 9.9
    3. NFPA-75 & 76
    4. NFPA-70
      1. Article 645
    5. Uptime Institute Tier Definitions
    6. ANSI/TIA 942A
    7. The Green Grid

  3. Power Systems
    1. Dual Cording Has Become Standard
      1. Poor Infrastructure Can Defeat
      2. Leads to More "2N" UPS Designs
    2. 208V, 3ph Now Normal
    3. 30A - 60A Circuiting More Common
      1. UL Requires PDU Breakers
    4. UPS
      1. Modular
        1. Load Matching
        2. Higher Redundancy
        3. Field Hot-Swappable
      2. Economy Mode
      3. Battery vs. Flywheel
    5. Emergency Power Backup
      1. Uptime Institute Position on Utility Power
      2. Generator Systems
        1. ATS Configurations
        2. When Redundancy Isn't
      3. Fuel Cells

  4. Cooling Systems
    1. ASHRAE TC 9.9 Guidelines
      1. Thermal Envelope
      2. Humidity Control
      3. New Humidity & Static Discharge Research
    2. Under-floor vs. Overhead Air
      1. Closed Return Systems
    3. Close-coupled ("Source of Heat") Cooling
      1. In-Row Coolers
      2. Rear Door Heat Exchangers
      3. Self-Cooled Cabinets
        1. Passive
        2. Fan Boosted
      4. Liquid Immersion
      5. Direct Liquid Cooling
      6. Refrigerant vs. Water Systems
        1. Higher Temperature "Chilled" Water
    4. Containment Systems
      1. Hot Aisle vs. Cool Aisle
      2. Full vs. Partial
      3. Fire Protection Concerns
    5. "Free Cooling"
      1. Conventional Water-side Economizers
      2. Air-side Systems
      3. Adiabatic Cooling
      4. Geothermal Cooling

  5. Lighting Systems
    1. Lighting Levels & Dispersion
      1. Trend to White Cabinets
    2. LED Lighting
    3. Proximity Control

  6. Raised Access Floors
    1. Purpose
    2. Structural Considerations
      1. Building Slab
      2. Floor Structure & Panels
      3. Air Directing Vanes
      4. Air Boosters
    3. Height
    4. Static Dissipative vs. Conductive
    5. Surface Material

  7. Physical Security
    1. Architectural Isolation
      1. Rings of Threat
      2. Elevator & Stairwell Accesses
      3. Delivery Control
      4. Operations Monitoring
      5. "Mantraps"
    2. Sign-in, Sign-out
    3. Entrance Control
      1. Card Readers
        1. Entrance & Exit
      2. Biometrics
      3. Video Surveillance
    4. Area & Cabinet Access
      1. Hard Wall Isolation
      2. Security Fence
      3. Cabinet Cypher Locks
      4. PDU Outlet Control
        1. Remote Access Concerns
      5. Video Surveillance

  8. Management & Maintenance
    1. DCIM & PUE
    2. Particulate & Gaseous Contaminants & Control
      1. Entrance Control
      2. Zinc Whiskers
      3. Cu & Ag Coupon Testing
      4. Routine Cleaning & Filter Maintenance
      5. Professional Cleaning

  9. Fire Suppression
    1. Water-based Systems
      1. Pre-Action
      2. Fog Mist
      3. Victaulic
    2. Clean Agent or Gas-Based Systems
      1. Clean Agents
        1. FE-227 (FM-200)
        2. FE-36
        3. FE-25
        4. Novec
      2. Atmospheric Gas Systems
        1. Inergen
        2. Argonite
      3. Hypoxic

  10. Cabling
    1. Trend to Fiber
    2. Pre-terminated Cable
    3. MPO's

References & Web Resources:

     Wikipedia on Data Center:


Robert E. McFarlane, Principal, Shen Milsom & Wilke.

Education: Graduate of Colorado State University: Engineering and Physics

Professional Affiliations:


Robert McFarlane, Principal Data Center Consultant, has spent more than 40 years in communications as both a consultant and instructor. He currently teaches the Data Center Facilities course in the Marist College IDCP (Institute for Data Center Professionals) Certification Program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and has been the program's Commencement Speaker. He has previously lectured in telecommunications as a member of the Adjunct Faculty of New York University. Bob is presently a Corresponding Member of the ASHRAE TC9.9 Technical Committee that sets many of the standards for modern Data Center design and is a Voting Member of the new ASHRAE SPC 90.4 Standards Committee writing the new Standard for Data Center Energy Efficiency (a "sister standard" to ASHRAE 90.1). He publishes as a member of the Data Center "Ask the Experts" panel for TechTarget, writes and is interviewed for a variety of other publications, and is widely sought as a speaker at seminars on modern Data Center design. He has given sessions on every aspect of this demanding and fast changing field, with appearances at AFCOM, Data Center Futures, BICSI, ASHE PDC, Women in Construction, and The Uptime Institute. Bob was the Keynote Speaker, as well as an acclaimed featured speaker for six years at the TechTarget "Data Center Decisions" Seminars. His session presentations have covered overall Data Center Design, High Density Power and Cooling, Backup Power Systems and Applications, Energy Savings in the Data Center, and Redundancy and Single Points of Failure. This year he will be speaking at the World Energy Conference at Niagara Falls along with other engagements. Bob is also featured on a number of Webcasts, has recorded a lecture for Marist College on "Green Data Center Design", and has spoken at Marist's highly regarded Enterprise Computing Community Conference on educating IT Professionals in Data Center Facility Management. His presentation at the BICSI National Convention in Las Vegas, "Green Data Centers - A High Powered Paradox", was published in the BICSI Journal.

Bob's experience spans every segment of the industry including cable design, fiber optics, data communications, telephony, data center facilities, financial trading systems, satellite earth stations, video and multi/media, and acoustics. As a pioneer in the field of building cabling design, Bob authored papers that set forth fundamental principles for the industry that are still followed today. He was also instrumental in the development of video teleconferencing, giving nationwide seminars on room and system design before writing the foundation paper, published in Architectural Record, that set the standards for that field. He is regularly interviewed by the trade press and has been asked to speak at countless seminars on building infrastructure for electronic communications, evolving technologies and the highly demanding requirements of data center design and financial trading floors and on which he is a leading expert.

Mr. McFarlane served for twelve years as President of Interport Financial, Inc., a firm specializing in designs for financial trading floors and critical data centers. Interport was acquired by SM&W in 1999. Prior to joining Interport, Bob spent fifteen years as a Vice President of Hubert Wilke, Inc., where he was Director of Middle East Operations and headed the office in Tehran before creating and running the telecommunications consulting practice for that firm in the United States. In that capacity he developed wide/ranging services in telecommunications design which included the data center and trading floor disciplines in which he continues to specialize.

Subsequent to Bobs's graduation from Colorado State University, he employed his Engineering and Physics training as research engineer in the Department of Hearing and Speech Science. He also lectured in auditory acoustics and bio/acoustic instrumentation for seven years at the graduate level. He subsequently served Northern Illinois University as Director of Engineering for the Division of Communications Services and was Manager of Engineering for the nationwide Blue Cross/Blue Shield Computer Network before developing a wide range of Mission Critical consulting fields.

Some of the Data Center projects on Mr. McFarlane's extensive resume include:


Shen Milsom & Wilke Firm Profile:

Shen Milsom & Wilke, LLC is an experienced and internationally recognized audiovisual/multimedia, information technology, acoustics, security and medical equipment planning, design and consulting firm. Clients include building owners, architects, and contractors for all types of projects around the world. We are MBE certified in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the City of Boston. We are registered as a certified minority business with National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSC). This includes 24 regional affiliates.

Practical and innovative solutions for audiovisual/multimedia applications include networked media retrieval, video conferencing and distance learning. Information technology services include voice and data services, such as base building, cable distribution, and voice and data systems design. We specialize in architectural acoustics, mechanical noise and vibration analysis and control, as well as structural dynamics and environmental noise and vibration assessments. Security services include threat assessments and audits, systems design and specification, construction documentation, and construction administration. Shen Milsom & Wilke also designs IT infrastructure, computing environments, display systems, for data centers and trading floors, assimilating current technologies and forecasting future technology developments. Data center services include CFD studies, or computational fluid dynamics, as a key part of providing cost/effective cooling strategies. SM&W medical equipment planning services have helped projects around the world plan and allocate resources for all types of clinical systems.

Shen Milsom & Wilke was started in 1986 and has grown to become an international company with a worldwide staff of over 230. Offices are located in New York, Princeton, Washington, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Denver, Plymouth Meeting, PA, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and London.

For further information, visit: http://www.smwllc.com


Addison-Wesley Professional/Prentice Hall PTR/Pearson, and O'Reilly have been kind enough to provide us with review copies of some of their books, which we will continue to raffle off as giveaways at our meetings. The publishers always ask that the persons receiving the books provide a review and/or feedback about their books.

Unigroup would like to thank both publishing companies for the support provided by their User Group programs.

As always, all of the books will be available for review at the start of the meeting.


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Complimentary Food and Refreshments will be served. This includes "wraps" such as turkey, roast beef, chicken, tuna and grilled vegetables as well as assorted salads (potato, tossed, pasta, etc), cookies, brownies, bottled water and assorted beverages.

Please join us for this meeting, you won't want to miss it!

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