Fujitsu Unveils Liquid-Cooled Primergy Servers

The systems in the vendor's Cool-Central Liquid Cooling Solutions will cut energy costs in half and increase density up to five times, officials say.

data center

Fujitsu is introducing a liquid-cooled server solution that officials say will reducing cooling costs by 50 percent and increase data center density by up to five times for such scale-out environments as high-performance computing.

The company last week unveiled the Primergy CX400 M1 and its cluster nodes that make up the company's Cool-Central Liquid Cooling Solutions, which were developed in conjunction with Asetek, a company based in Denmark that makes liquid-cooling technologies for data centers, servers and PCs.

Fujitsu officials said that traditional data centers typically use up to 40 percent of their power to cool the facilities, so reducing energy consumption is high on the list of data center operators. So are increasing density and saving space, they said.

"Fujitsu is revolutionizing data center design, and is the first major vendor to deliver direct-to-chip liquid cooling for more efficient building and operation of scale-out data centers," Uwe Romppel, head of product management server at Fujitsu, said in a statement.

The technology will enable users to hit a power usage effectiveness (PUE) as low as 1.06 and offers them a way of recycling the heat waste so it can be used somewhere else, Romppel said. PUE measures energy efficiency, with a 1.0 being the optimal score.

A range of system OEMs, including IBM, offer some sort of liquid-cooling server technologies that are particularly aimed at scale-out environments. Hewlett-Packard last year unveiled its Apollo line of supercomputers for HPC, including the 8000, which offers liquid-cooling capabilities. At the time, HP officials noted that liquid is 1,000 times more efficient at cooling than air, but that design challenges and concerns about water getting close to electronics have held back wider adoption of liquid-cooling technologies.

The Cool-Central Liquid Cooling Solutions are not the first time Fujitsu has offered such technologies. In 2013, the company introduced what officials called Liquid Loop Cooling, which uses both air and liquid to cool systems. Now Fujitsu is teaming with Asetek, becoming an OEM for its RackCDU D2C liquid-cooling technology. Through the partnership, Fujitsu is offering hot-water, director-to-chip technology that takes heat away from such server components as CPUs, GPUs and memory modules and sending the heat into outdoor air, according to officials.

For Asetek, the deal gives the company access to a wider market for its liquid-cooling technology, according to founder and CEO Andre Sloth Eriksen.

The Primergy CX400 M1 and its cluster nodes use up to 160 Xeon chips from Intel and 1,280 memory modules per standard rack. Such racks can consume as much as 30 watts, so liquid cooling is needed to keep temperatures in the data center down, according to officials. That will become even more important as watts-per-rack grow to as much as 50 watts in 2016, they said, driving the need for such a modular system that can adapt to the rapid changes in the near future.

The liquid cooling saves on other costs beyond cooling, power and space, officials said. Without the extensive air-cooling equipment, the costs for building new data centers go down, they said. In addition, the hot water used to carry the heat away from the servers can be used to heat or cool such facilities as offices or homes.

The new Cool-Central Liquid Cooling Solutions—Fujitsu's Primergy CX400 M1 server and CX2550 M1 and CX2570 M1 cluster nodes—are available now on a project basis, and will be generally available in September.