We “submerge” servers under water !?

    Faced with problems of a limited budget, carbon dioxide emissions and high electricity prices, many IT companies seek to find opportunities to save money, reduce energy consumption and maximize efficiency from data centers that require high power and constant temperature conditions. Among them is a British startup, Iceotope, which is expanding its productive activities in order to meet the growing consumer demand for their server with full liquid cooling. Already in November, the company plans to make available a wide range of production models at DCD CONVERGED trade shows and conferences in London and SC14 in New Orleans.

    “At the moment, we are increasing our potential, we are engaged in interactive product development to launch mass production,” said Peter Hopton, CEO of Iceotope and inventor of liquid cooling methods. Iceotope talked about successful pre-production testing at the University of Leeds and at the Poznan Network Computing Center, where it was able to significantly improve productivity. The results were presented at IP EXPO in London.

    Each Iceotope system blade server is housed in a metal case filled with dielectric coolant, which helps to avoid high costs and carbon emissions while cooling the entire data center. The heat from the blade servers is extracted through an auxiliary system through which water circulates.

    “Full liquid cooling” means that the system does not have a single fan. Since there are no fans, the system is significantly quieter than air-cooled servers. The absence of fans significantly reduces the level of vibration inside IT equipment. The fluid circulating through the system does not leave it, water is mixed with additives that reduce its electrical conductivity. Thus, you can even heat the building, if you connect the system to the radiators that are in the DC. This will save money in the heating season, and in general for the year.

    Iceotope has proposed abandoning air-conditioned computer rooms and humidity control air-purification systems, which also offers significant energy savings. The liquid cooling system is the most efficient and useful when using high-performance servers (HPC). It is this type of load that has been used at the University of Leeds for the past 18 months. Leeds University equates Iceotope with Rear Door Heat Exchanger . A 40.8% increase in performance was noted with the Iceotope system.

    Meanwhile, in Poznan, while maintaining a certain coolant temperature, the server worked smoothly at full power in turbo mode, without requiring additional costs. “Research has shown that using a fully liquid cooling system is not only functional, but also effective,” said Hopton.

    Last month, researchers at the recently established Dell Research Department noted that by 2020, advances in liquid cooling would make it possible to build DCs in any climate zone with a PUE level of 1.03.

    “While we are talking about partial PUE, yes, really. Obviously, you should have your own electric transformers for research, as the result in Poznan was PUE 1.02, ”Hopton said,“ and so we don’t have fans inside the servers, they literally are no different from ordinary motherboards. ”

    This year, Iceotope, led by Aster Capital and the Ombu Group, increased funding by $ 10 million. At the same time, the company entered into partnership agreements with a French international company, an expert in energy management Schneider Electric, known in more than 100 countries for its comprehensive energy-efficient solutions for data centers.

    “We are open for business. I would like that in the near future we would have even more partnerships in the IT field, and we would have the opportunity to work with them to create even more diverse IT equipment for such systems, ”said Hopton.

    More and more companies are participating in the development of new effective cooling solutions for both high-performance and conventional servers. Iceotope and other companies conduct various experiments on the introduction of liquid cooling systems, trying to develop an effective and as simple as possible concept of heat removal from servers.

    Of course, the inertia of the market and the need to adapt IT equipment to the needs of engineering systems are constraining factors, but the growing baggage of experience and accumulated knowledge will help overcome the line of transition from air cooling to liquid cooling.

    PS immersion in practice

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