Information Management in a Production Data Center

Raymond Benton, Johnson Controls
John Richard, Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI), is the largest global provider of facilities management services to customer data centers.

Although all of our data center facilities management clients are committed to reducing energy use, carbon, and greenhouse gas emissions, a subset of our client base—those companies who provide outsourced IT services to their many clients—is especially focused on these goals.

One of these—a major provider of IT services—has embarked on an ambitious program to identify and mitigate inefficiencies within its data center facilities infrastructure. All of its more than 25 global data centers are included in the program, and each has specific three-year goals. Sub-metering, integrated with our Metasys® Building Automation System, provides trending and analysis capability, and is an integral part of JCI's measurement and strategy.

In this presentation, John Richard, customer business director of Global Critical Environments, will describe the strategy and results of two, independent initiatives at one of the client's sites in the Northeast. The first involves the retrofit of the site's HVAC system, in order to provide airside economization. The second involves the use of a proprietary technology to provide continuous commissioning of the site's sizable installed base of chillers, fans, pumps, and other rotating equipment.

The site has a Tier III design and approximately 58,000 square feet of raised floor. Built in phases over the past 20 plus years, critical load at present is approximately 1.2 megawatts. Total spending on electricity is in excess of $3 million annually.

In the first portion of his presentation, Mr. Richard will describe the strategy used to capture the more than 4,000 hours of free cooling available in this climate, including the financial analysis that led to project approval. He will also provide an overview of the design used for the economizers and retrofitted computer room air conditioner (CRAC) units, including the sub-metering methodology for verifying before and after electricity demand.

In the second portion, he will review how a sustainability manager—a proprietary Johnson Controls technology—has identified significant sources of excess demand at the component and system level within the data center's mechanical infrastructure, allowing the client's management to recover its investment in months, not years as had been originally projected.


Ray Benton is the manager of critical environments and information management for the Johnson Controls Life Sciences Customer Business Group. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. During his 15-year career with Johnson Controls, Mr. Benton has been focused on delivering solutions to the life sciences market. This includes developing a training curriculum specific to validation of HVAC systems, developing and maintaining a set of validation standards that are deployed throughout the corporation and serving as the technical lead on development teams for platforms that are deployed to the Life Sciences Market.

Mr. Benton was part of the team that developed and then deployed a 21 CFR Part 11 compliant building management system to more than 150 customers globally. He maintains relationships with these sites and continues to consult with them to lay out automation strategies that take advantage of information technology innovations.

Most recently, Mr. Benton has been involved with a new information management platform that integrates the different automation systems of an enterprise to provide visibility. The platform also incorporates fault detection and diagnostic capabilities that save energy by providing techno-commissioning at the building/site level.

John Richard is a customer business director for Johnson Controls, Inc., responsible for providing facilities management services globally to Computer Sciences Corporation’s data center portfolio. In this role, he is responsible for the availability, reliability, and efficiency of more than 25 data centers, encompassing approximately 1,000,000 square feet of raised floor in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia.

He is also considered a subject matter expert in energy management solutions for data centers, and supports his clients in their efforts to capture the benefits of new and emerging technologies and design strategies affecting data center energy use, thermal efficiency, and carbon footprint.

He is a regular presenter at the Association for Computer Operations Management (AFCOM), frequently in partnership with Dr. Yogendra Joshi, Distinguished Chair in Building Mechanical Systems at Georgia Technological University. They have presented "The Pros and Cons of Allowing Humidity to Float" at AFCOM's Data Center World Conference, as well as "Solving Data Center Thermal Challenges Through Research."

He has also presented on similar topics at the Uptime Institute's annual symposium on data center efficiency since its inception in 2007, and in 2009 was named to Eaton Corporation's Electrical Sector Customer Board of Directors

Mr. Richard has served as director, Business Development for Data Center Engineering for Morrison Hershfield Corporation, a full service architecture and engineering firm, and earlier served as senior manager, Data Center Services for Johnson Controls.

He has also headed sales and account management for Liebert Global Services, a division of Emerson Network Power.