Asetek Fights Data Center Heat With Liquid Cooling

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2012-01-04 Print this article Print

Advances in cooling may bring data center operating costs down, while extending the life of components.

Heat is one of the biggest enemies in the data center, with the potential to cost both an enterprise and an IT department a lot of money.

Heat generation in the data center contributes to system failures, reduces component life, increases environmental control costs and can be difficult and expensive to mitigate. Hardware vendor Asetek is hoping to take the bite out of controlling heat with liquid cooling.

"While much of what is written suggests that the problem of data center cooling is monolithic, we have discovered the need is for a diverse set of solutions to meet specific data center performance, density and efficiency objectives," said Asetek CEO and founder Andr??« Sloth Eriksen. "Using proven Asetek technology to engineer a range of cooling solutions gives Asetek a unique ability to address the wide diversity of cooling challenges that exist in the HPC and data center market today."

Asetek has launched a suite of products designed to move its technology into servers and racks. The company is targeting the high performance computing (HPC) market, as well as financial companies conducting high-speed trading.

Asetek's technology focusses on removing the heat generated by high performance CPUs and graphics processor units (GPUs), which are responsible for creating the majority of the heat in an enclosure. Asetek's liquid cooling solutions use a cold plate and pump to extract heat directly from CPUs and GPUs. The company's technology is currently in use on hundreds of thousands of PCs.

Now, Asetek has re-engineered the technology for the enterprise server market and it is providing three levels of server cooling:

  • Internal Loop Liquid Cooling, which enables the use of the fastest processors, including high-wattage processors,in high density servers.
  • Rack CDU Liquid Cooling, which removes processor or GPU heat from rack servers and blades from the data center without the use of traditional computer room air conditioners or water chillers. This enables extreme densities on server, rack and data center level. The strongest value proposition however, is that the solution uses free, ambient air cooling, which creates a 50 percent power savings within the data center.
  • Sealed Server Liquid Cooling, which removes all server heat from the data center through liquid. With this technology, no air from inside the data center is used for server cooling. Instead, the solution enables high density with high performance processors and ambient room temperature server cooling.
Liquid cooling is substantially more efficient that air cooling and should offer potential savings for data center operators.  In the past, liquid cooling has been used primarily in HPC and other applications requiring high-density deployments that are difficult to manage with air cooling.

However, the benefits offered by liquid cooling and the potential footprint reduction has caused interest to grow in the technology and its applicability to a growing number of applications and services, which can be delivered using high-density configurations.

Asetek claims that its system is designed to low pressure, which increases reliability by reducing the stress on joints and connections. The company says its liquid channels are helium integrity tested and sealed at the factory for its life time, eliminating the need for any liquid handling by the server OEM, or data center operator.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at

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