Harnessing liquid power: Revolutionizing data center cooling technology
The rapid growth of data centers and their increasing energy consumption have brought the issues of heat dissipation and energy efficiency to the forefront. To meet these challenges, liquid cooling technology has emerged as a promising solution, offering enhanced performance and sustainability.
In a recent interview at Dell Technologies World, David Hardy (pictured, right), group executive vice president and chief executive officer, Americas Region at Ørsted A/S; and Brandon Peterson (left), senior vice president of products at CoolIT Systems Inc., discussed the partnership between their companies and the importance of liquid cooling in addressing these challenges.
“Processing power is really going to continue to increase, get hotter and hotter,” Hardy said. “The need to do enhanced cooling made us investigate a lot of different technologies. Direct liquid was one that we figured out was going to have the highest performance, best longevity. CoolIT is the leader in this space, was a natural for Dell to partner with … being kind of best of breed for the combined solution.”
Hardy and Peterson spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante and Lisa Martin at Dell Technologies World, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed the future of liquid cooling and its potential to revolutionize data center operations, paving the way for more efficient and environmentally friendly computing infrastructure. (* Disclosure below.)
CoolIT Systems: From desktop cooling to data center solutions
CoolIT Systems, founded in 2001, initially focused on desktop liquid cooling for gamers. However, as the data center industry began to heat up, the company recognized the potential of their technology for commercial applications. The company collaborated with Dell to develop and validate liquid cooling solutions for data center servers, expanding their reach beyond desktops.
“We’ve seen that for many years out of Europe, the RFPs with requirements for efficiency,” Peterson said. “And we’ve seen customers successfully respond to those because of direct liquid cooling and being able to reduce the energy used to cool those data centers.”
Direct liquid cooling emerged as the most promising solution, offering high performance and longevity. CoolIT Systems, being a leader in this space, became a natural choice for Dell to ensure a best-of-breed combined solution. CoolIT Systems offers both direct liquid cooling, which includes single-phase and two-phase solutions, and indirect liquid cooling, such as rear-door heat exchangers. The advantages of direct liquid cooling lie in its ability to address both local chip-level cooling and broader rack-level or data center-level challenges.
The versatility of direct liquid cooling enables higher performance, greater efficiency and reduced power consumption, Peterson stressed. While the initial investment in liquid cooling may be higher, the return on investment is relatively quick, ranging from six months to two years, depending on factors such as power costs and infrastructure savings.
With 95% of request for proposals now including sustainability requirements, Dell and CoolIT Systems are helping customers achieve their sustainability goals through direct liquid cooling solutions. By eliminating the need for power-hungry chillers and reducing water consumption, liquid cooling enables more energy-efficient data centers.
The need for enhanced cooling in the data center industry
Direct liquid cooling offers a solution not only for performance-driven customers, but also for those concerned about sustainability metrics, according to Hardy. The benefits of liquid cooling outweigh the complexities involved, making it an attractive option for various industries, including financial firms, electronic design companies and national labs.
Liquid cooling, with its superior heat capture capabilities, is expected to play a vital role in data center cooling. The exact implementations and deployment strategies may evolve over time, but Dell and CoolIT Systems are actively involved in industry standards bodies, influencing the direction of liquid cooling technologies.
“It’s a little bit like talking about sustainability in a broad sense, where it’s not just the materials you make your system of, or recycling plants. I ‘s what’s the source of the energy that’s going to power that system for the life of the system,” Hardy said. “We’re helping customers look more holistically from the server to the rack to the entire data center to try to maximize the efficiency there.”
Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Dell Technologies World:
(* Disclosure: Dell Technologies Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Dell Technologies nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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