Over the past few years, there has been an ever increasing rise in energy consumption by IT equipment in Data Centers. Thus, the need to minimize the environmental impact of Data Centers by optimizing energy consumption and material use is increasing. In 2011, the Open Compute Project was started which was aimed at sharing specifications and best practices with the community for highly energy efficient and economical data centers. The first Open Compute Server was the ‘ Freedom’ Server. It was a vanity free design and was completely custom designed using minimum number of components and was deployed in a data center in Prineville, Oregon. Within the first few months of operation, considerable amount of energy and cost savings were observed. Since then, progressive generations of Open Compute servers have been introduced. Initially, the servers used for compute purposes mainly had a 2 socket architecture. In 2015, the Yosemite Open Compute Server was introduced which was suited for higher compute capacity. Yosemite has a system on a chip architecture having four CPUs per sled providing a significant improvement in performance per watt over the previous generations. This study mainly focuses on air flow optimization in Yosemite platform to improve its overall cooling performance. Commercially available CFD tools have made it possible to do the thermal modeling of these servers and predict their efficiency. A detailed server model is generated using a CFD tool and its optimization has been done to improve the air flow characteristics in the server. Thermal model of the improved design is compared to the existing design to show the impact of air flow optimization on flow rates and flow speeds which in turn affects CPU die temperatures and cooling power consumption and thus, impacting the overall cooling performance of the Yosemite platform. Emphasis is given on effective utilization of fans in the server as compared to the original design and improving air flow characteristics inside the server via improved ducting.

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