Dell Brings Water-Cooling System to Hyperscale Data Centers
However, Dell officials said Triton is more efficient and less costly than other options because the company was able to do away with pumping systems, cooling loops and liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers. Triton uses water brought in through a facility's regular water system and to each server sled to cool the CPU, an approach that is more efficient in its cooling and uses less water than other options. According to officials, it uses 97 percent less cooling power than the average air-cooled data center and consumes as much as 62 percent less power than Apollo 8000. Dell engineers have designed an open-loop system that brings the water through the 2U (3.5-inch) server sleds via torched-brazed copper pipes that reduce the chance of leaks, and has multiple layers of leak detection and overflow technologies. Dell's Gan said the company also is working on a closed-loop version that uses the same cooling technology but eliminates the need for the data center to provide facility water to the rack. Dell officials noted that liquid cooling can help some scale-out environments, but traditional air-cooled technologies will make better financial sense for many data centers. Analysts with Moor Insights and Strategy wrote in a report that Triton's "unique cooling capabilities provided inspiration for the development of a custom Intel CPU, which has the potential to offer a large TCO [total cost of ownership] benefit for customers who have workloads that scale well with CPU frequency and core count.""IT organizations looking to improve overall energy efficiency or who have workloads that scale well with extremely high CPU frequency and core count may benefit from using liquid-cooled IT equipment," Longoria and Pike wrote. "Dell ESI has significant experience servicing large customers with liquid cooling solutions and has been working on improvements to their approach for over six years. Their 'Triton' liquid cooling innovation not only has excellent cooling capacity, but its simplicity eliminates many unnecessary elements whose operation can be costly."
There are multiple benefits to liquid cooling, from improved system performance and power consumption to cost savings and the ability to reuse the waste heat, Gina Longoria, senior analyst at Moor, and Jimmy Pike, technologist with the firm, wrote in the report. Still, it's best-suited for particular companies, they wrote.