Is a lack of standards holding immersion cooling back? • The Register

ByPhyllis R. Edwards

Jul 3, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Remark Liquid and immersion cooling have been through some thing of a renaissance in the datacenter in current yrs as factors have grown at any time hotter.

This trend has only accelerated above the earlier few months as we have seen a fervor of innovation and advancement around every little thing from liquid-cooled servers and parts for distributors that believe that the only way to cool these programs extensive time period is to drench them in a vat of refrigerants.

Liquid and immersion cooling are by no suggests new technologies. They’ve experienced a storied historical past in the higher-effectiveness computing house, in devices like HPE’s Apollo, Cray, and Lenovo’s Neptune to name just a handful.

A big factor driving the adoption of this tech in conventional datacenters is a combination of more impressive chips and a normal desire to cut operating expenditures by curbing vitality usage.

One particular of the difficulties, having said that, is several of these methods make use of radically distinct form things than are common in air-cooled datacenters. Some techniques only require modest changes to the current rack infrastructure, although others ditch that convention totally in favor of huge tubs into which servers are vertically slotted.

The strategies these systems are staying applied is a combined bag to say the the very least.

Immersion cooling meets rack mount

This obstacle was on complete display screen this 7 days at HPE Discover, where the IT goliath announced a collaboration with Intel and Iceotope to bring immersion-cooling tech to HPE’s enterprise-focused Proliant server line.

The systems can now be provisioned with Iceotope’s Ku:l immersion and liquid-cooling technological innovation, via HPE’s channel partners with support supplied by distributor Avnet Built-in. Iceotope’s models meld factors of immersion cooling and closed-loop liquid cooling to enable this know-how to be deployed in rack environments with nominal alterations to the present infrastructure.

Ice’s chassis-amount immersion-cooling platform correctly works by using the server’s scenario as a reservoir and then pumps coolant throughout to hotspots like the CPU, GPU, or memory. The enterprise also features a 3U conversion kit for adapting air-cooled servers to liquid cooling.

Each types utilize a liquid-to-liquid warmth exchanger towards the back again of the chassis, the place deionized h2o is pumped in and heat is eliminated from the system employing an exterior dry cooler.

This is a stark departure from the technique employed by rival immersion-cooling vendors, this kind of as LiquidStack or Submer, which favor submerging various units in a tub whole of coolant — frequently a two-period refrigerant or specialised oil.

Whilst this approach has demonstrated promise, and has even been deployed in Microsoft’s Azure datacenters, the unique sort things may possibly call for exclusive thought from setting up operators. Body weight distribution is among the operators’ major considerations, Dell’Oro analyst Lucas Beran advised The Sign up in an before job interview.

Standardized reference layouts in the will work

The absence of a standardized type factor for deploying and employing these systems is one of quite a few challenges Intel hopes to tackle with its $700 million Oregon liquid and immersion cooling lab.

Introduced in late May well, the 200,000-square-foot facility, located about 20 miles west of Portland at its Hillsboro campus in the US, will qualify, exam, and demo its expansive datacenter portfolio employing a variety of cooling tech. The chipmaker is also explained to be doing the job on an open up reference design and style for an immersion-cooling system that’s being made by Intel Taiwan.

Intel programs to provide other Taiwanese manufacturers into the fold right before rolling out the reference layout globally. No matter whether the x86 large will be able to deliver any regularity to the way immersion cooling will be deployed in datacenters heading forward remains to be noticed, however.

Even if Intel’s reference style never pans out, there are still other initiatives pursuing related goals, together with the Open up Compute Project’s highly developed cooling methods sub project, launched in 2018.

It aims to create an ecosystem of servers, storage, and networking equipment created all over prevalent requirements for direct call, immersion, and other cooling tech.

In the meantime, the marketplace will carry on chilling the very best techniques it can. ®


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