Center for Research in Energy and Configuration Management (RECoM)

(A site of CRIS at Univ/Minnesota)

 

        RECoM is an NSF supported Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) focusing on the crucial issues of configuration and energy management in large scale cyber and cyberphysical  infrastructures. Following the normal IUCRC model, research projects in RECoM are funded entirely by the industry members and are expressly designed to fulfill precompetitive research needs of the supporting members.

        RECoM is already in operation and is currently supported by HP Storage. The currently defined projects relate to energy management in data centers and enhanced cloud management capabilities using OpenStack. We are currently looking for additional members and expect more to join the RECoM site.

 

RECoM Faculty:

Site Director: Dr. Krishna Kant, http://www.kkant.net

Co-PI: Dr. Jie Wu, http://www.cis.temple.edu/~wu/

Other faculty: We expect to include other faculty from CIS and ECE departments at Temple depending on the needs of the industry sponsored projects.  In particular, we may add faculty in the following areas: data mining, cloud computing, security, smart grid, and networks.

 

RECoM History:

        RECoM is a new “site” recently established at the Computer and Information Science (CIS) department of Temple University for an existing and highly successful umbrella IUCRC at the Computer Science Department at University of Minnesota. The latter IUCRC is called CRIS (Center for Research in Intelligent Storage) and has been focused on storage system issues. Details on CRIS may be found at http://cris.cs.umn.edu.  It is directed by Prof. David Du and is currently being supported by 10 industry members (http://cris.cs.umn.edu/sponsorlist.htm). Recently CRIS has transitioned to phase II, where it is augmented by two new sites, one at Temple University, directed by Prof Krishna Kant (http://www.kkant.net) and the other at Texas A&M University, directed by Prof. Narasimha Reddy (http://www.ece.tamu.edu/~reddy/). According to IUCRC charter, each new site must necessarily expand the scope of the research. The Temple University site is focused on the crucial issues of energy and configuration management in large scale cyber and cyberphysical infrastructures.

 

RECoM Scope:

        The RECoM site’s interests are rooted in data centers; therefore, it is expected that the Temple site will be undertaking projects in various areas concerning energy and configuration management inside data centers. This includes measurement, design, and analysis of all aspects of energy management and HW/SW configuration at all levels including individual hardware devices; compute, storage and network subsystems; virtual devices and systems; physical and virtual clusters; and OS, middleware, applications and services. 

        In addition to these mainstream IT areas, RECoM scope also extends into the data center physical infrastructure issues including air movement and cooling of racks, heat extraction infrastructure, power distribution infrastructure, and the interaction of the data center with power supply side which increasingly includes not only the traditional power grid but also integration of multiple energy sources including renewables. In particular, one of the important issues of interest to RECoM is the adaptation at various levels of data centers required to cope with variable sources of power.

        The IUCRC program affords substantial flexibility in molding and adapting the research performed at an IUCRC site to the needs of the funding industry members and evolving interests of the faculty associated with the IUCRC.  Consequently, we expect that as RECoM center moves ahead, it will venture into many other areas beyond energy and configuration issues in data centers, and also to issues beyond the data centers. In particular, security, privacy, and trust aspects are crucial in many contexts and very much within the range of expertise and interest of the Temple PIs. Thus we expect the research to naturally expand into security/privacy issues relating to data storage and computations in data centers and clouds, and beyond into the smart grid. We also have expertise and interest in large scale communications infrastructures such as cellular, and energy/configuration/security issues in such an environment are also of interest.

 

Overview of IUCRC Program:

        Full details of IUCRC program are available on the NSF site (http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/iucrc/). IUCRC is an extremely successful program for bringing together industry and academia for conducting industry-centric pre-competitive research by academia. It works like a consortium and funded by memberships from industry. The membership fee directly supports the projects that the funding members help define. The main advantages of the IUCRC model to industry include the following:

(a)    Availability of results from all projects supported under the umbrella IUCRC to all members. This has a great leveraging effect on the membership fee from any given member.

(b)   Availability of academic expertise and resources (Ph.D. students & postdocs) to conduct industry specific precompetitive research.

(c)    Grooming future employees for the member companies through close working relationship on IUCRC projects.

(d)   Contacts and collaborations among member companies.

(e)   NSF limits the overhead of membership money to 10%, which means that 90% of the money can be used to support projects.

According to NSF rules, the nominal IUCRC membership is $50K per year, but other arrangements are possible. NSF requires a minimum level of member supported funding for a center. The membership funds are committed annually, although there is generally an expectation (but not an obligation) that a member will stay with the center for at least 2 years.