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Corrosion in Data Centers

Presenter: Prabjit Singh
Company: IBM Corporation
Date Published: 8/9/2016

Description: Most data centers are well designed and are in areas with relatively clean environments, and most contamination is benign. Therefore, most data centers should not experience particulate or gaseous contamination-related IT equipment failures. However, according to the major IT equipment manufacturers, the number of data centers with contamination-related failures in the past ten years has increased significantly, though their number remains quite small. Much of the increase in the number of corrosion-related hardware failures is coming from the growth of server and storage system markets in Asia, particularly in China where the rapid industrial growth and the reliance on coal-fired power plants has heavily polluted the environment with sulfur-bearing gaseous contamination. This presentation will provide insight into the challenges faced by the IT industry in dealing with the hardware corrosion problems in the emerging markets in Asia and other unique industrial environments. Using outside air for cooling is considered the most straightforward way to reduce energy consumption in data centers, but it requires continuous monitoring of the air quality to preserve the reliability of IT equipment or more robust hardware. The corrosion mechanisms, the air monitoring techniques and the mitigation methods employed to contain the problem will be discussed.

About the Presenter:
Prabjit Singh is a Senior Technical Staff Member in the Materials and Processes Department in IBM Poughkeepsie, New York, with 36 years of experience in the metallurgical engineering aspects of mainframe computer power, packaging, cooling and reliability. He has more than 4 dozen issued patents, and is an IBM Master Inventor. PJ Singh received a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, a MS and Ph.D. from the Stevens Institute of Technology, all in the field of metallurgical engineering. Recently, he received a MS in micro-electronic manufacturing from RPI and a MS in electrical engineering from the National Technological University. PJ Singh is active in ASHRAE, ISA, iNEMI and IPC technical societies researching printed circuit board creep corrosion and the acceptable limits of air contamination in mission-critical data centers. He is an adjunct professor of electrical engineers at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

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