Asetek Fights Data Center Heat With Liquid Cooling

 
 
By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2012-01-04
 
 
 

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.

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