Mission Critical Facilities, Data Centers, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment
ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9

About TC9.9

Mission Statement
To be recognized by ALL areas of the datacom industry as the unbiased engineering leader in HVAC and an effective provider of technical information for the datacom industry.

Overview
TC 9.9 Mission Critical Facilities, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment is concerned with the design, operations, maintenance, and efficient energy usage of modern data centers and technology spaces.

Along with the explosive growth of connected technologies (i.e. the Internet, mobile phones, telephony, etc.), high power density of electronic equipment has also been steadily increasing in recent years. In addition, the mission critical nature of computing has sensitized businesses to the health of their data centers. The combination of these effects has made it obvious that better alignment is needed between equipment manufacturers and facility operations personnel to ensure proper and fault tolerant operation within mission critical environments.

In order to address these concerns, TC 9.9 was formed. The committee is comprised of a wide range of industry representatives including but not limited to equipment manufacturers, consulting engineers, data center operators, academia, testing laboratories, government, etc. who are all committed to increasing and sharing the body of knowledge related to data centers.

History of TC 9.9
The power density of electronic equipment has been steadily increasing. In addition, the mission critical nature of computing has sensitized businesses to the health of their data centers.

The combination of these effects has made it obvious that better alignment is needed between equipment manufacturers and facility operations personnel to ensure proper and fault tolerant operation within mission critical environments.

In order to address these concerns ASHRAE TC 9.9 was created.

The initial focus of the committee was to align manufacturers on environmental requirements of their equipment. To achieve this focus, the committee initially had a strong representation of datacom equipment manufacturers.

Now that the committee's first two priorities, the publication of "Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments" and "Datacom Equipment Power Trends and Cooling Applications", have been achieved, the committee is currently being re-balanced to reflect the broader interest in data centers within ASHRAE. Balance among the following three interest groups is sought:

General (including government agencies, consultants, academia and testing laboratories).
Datacom Equipment Manufacturers.
Datacom End Users.

At this point in time, individuals representing datacom end users are especially encouraged to contact the committee for membership in our effort to achieve the desired balance.The committee has two formal meetings per year (ASHRAE Winter and Summer Meetings). All other interaction typically occurs through email and conference calls.

History of ASHRAE Publication "Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments"
Trends toward increased equipment power density in data centers have resulted in significant thermal stress, with the undesirable side effects of decreased equipment availability, wasted floor space, and inefficient cooling system operation.

In response to these concerns, manufacturers identified the need to provide standardization across the industry, and in 1998 a Thermal Management Consortium was formed. This was followed in 2002 by the creation of a new ASHRAE Technical Group, TG9-HDEC, High Density Electronic Equipment Facility Cooling, to help bridge the gap between equipment manufacturers and facility designers and operators. In 2003, the technical group became a technical committee (TC 9.9, Mission Critical Facilities, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment), and work continued on the new publication."Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments" the first publication of TC 9.9.

The Thermal Guidelines document has, as its purpose: To provide standardized operating environments for equipment. This is in response to an industry void regarding consistent and current operating conditions (e.g., often legacy conditions from old main frame environmental conditions are used).

To provide a common environmental interface for the equipment and its surroundings.
To provide guidance on how to evaluate and test the operational health of the data center.
To provide a methodology for reporting the environmental characteristics of a computer system.

For a more detailed discussion of the historical perspective leading up to the creation of "Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments", and for a discussion of issues that will define the roadmap for future ASHRAE activities in this field, please refer to ASHRAE Symposia Paper AN-04-9-1, Evolution of Data Center Environmental Guidelines (recipient of a 2004 Technical/Symposium Paper Award), which is available from the ASHRAE Bookstore.