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DCA REVIEW Operational


The end and the beginning of PEDCA

by Simon Campbell-Whyte DCA Executive Director

Cool, calm & collected

By Sophia Flucker, Director at Operational Intelligence.

THE DCA ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL STEERING GROUP COOLING SUMMIT took place on Thursday 4th December 2014 at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in Westminster, London. The speakers were Dr. Jon Summer of the University of Leeds and Sophia Flucker and Dr. Robert Tozer of Operational Intelligence, who is the group chair.

WITH THE END OF 2014 we reached the end of the PEDCA project, now we have the task of implementing the plan itself. One of our key objectives for 2015 is to encourage more member involvement in both DCA decision making and steering groups. There’s a range of activities and actions planned, largely based on feedback and ideas generated during the PEDCA project. This includes regular webinar calls, a reorganisation of the website, an annual DCA “symposium” event and more accessible steering groups. Each year the DCA steering groups will be asked to consider and report the following questions:

Is there a contribution to be made to: £Standards/Guidelines? For example, is there a best practice missing or a gap that needs addressing or a standard that needs improving or updating?

£Research & Development? For example, is there unanswered research question, can R&D funding improve anything and can research councils be better informed?

£Training and skills? For example, does existing training and education meet the needs, is there a skill shortage in any particular area or new skill in short supply?

£Awareness activities? For example, does any aspect of the topic need wider dissemination to any particular stakeholder group or audience?

The plans include an annual event dedicated to DCA members (free of commercial sponsorship) to focus on these topics and air the group’s activities and goals. This will be at a date to be decided during the summer. It’s going to take some time to put all this into action, but work has already started. In December the DCA hosted an evening event focused on cooling and environmental control group’s topics at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in Westminster.

At the event, Dr Robert Tozer, Sophia Flucker and Dr Jon Summers presented key issues this sector of the data centre industry faces with the aim to foster collaboration to establish workshops where case studies, white papers and DCA actions can be formulated. A full report of this is to be found in this issue.

The evening commenced with Simon Campbell-Whyte providing an introduction; Dr Jon Summers then gave a presentation on the challenges of getting heat out of a data centre and the application of liquid cooling.

Operational Intelligence presented on how environmental control is the basis of energy efficiency and shared a case study of how improvements were put into practice in a legacy data centre and the financial impact of this.

This highlighted the opportunities for

reducing energy wastage through implementing best practice, capitalising on the outdoor environment and minimising risk with a short ROI. Feedback from attendees included surprise at the long-term energy and risk benefits possible by optimising the air flow of data centres.

Forty people attended the interactive event and provided valuable feedback and contributions. Feedback was positive and delegates expressed a desire for regular workshops and events of this nature. Suggested topics included: supporting the EU code of conduct, more case studies, air management best practice, how to dispel popular myths amongst end users and data centre owners, new technologies and liquid cooling.

Furthermore, for the following event a desire for integration of different groups was suggested to tackle the silo-mentality of the industry. After the “business” portion of the event was complete, all enjoyed a social drinks and canapés evening and welcomed the opportunity for networking and meeting new colleagues.

We will be holding a similar event in April together with other DCA groups, and will also be calling a workshop meeting in the spring to develop the proposal for additional case studies and whitepapers. Presentations can be downloaded from:‐

16 I February 2015


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