The rapid global digitalization presents data centers with pressing challenges: efficiently balancing energy consumption, density, and environmental impact while grappling with escalating costs and limited space. This complex situation forces them to be creative and actively pursue innovative solutions to meet the ever-growing demand for digital services.
With the recent launch of the CIARA TRIDENT iC series immersion-born servers and the successful immersion of over 250,000 cores to date, Hypertec has acquired extensive expertise in immersion cooling. We firmly believe that this technology is the only viable option for sustainable data centers.
Read along as we delve into the unrivalled benefits of immersion cooling and gain valuable insights from Robert Haffner, Senior Product Manager, Immersion Servers and Solutions at Hypertec, about what makes this tech the future of data centers.
The reality of data centers in an increasingly digital world
The first question that comes to mind when looking at the crazy amount of energy consumed by data centers, is “why?”. The answer lies in the constant expansion of digitalization. As access to smartphones and other mobile devices increases every year¹, data centers are faced with the complexity of simultaneously managing energy consumption, density, and environmental impact. This is not an easy feat given exorbitant energy costs, limited available space and, yes, the fact that our planet is overheating. To meet these challenges effectively, data centers need to choose a technological solution that will enable them to reconcile the demands of digital growth with environmental sustainability.
Data centers are facing real and ongoing challenges
If you’re reading this article, you’re aware. You’ve considered the idea of switching to more efficient and sustainable technology for your data center, and you probably started planning this transition, because you understand the impact on your business in terms of costs. If you’re still not convinced, here’s a reminder of the stark reality currently facing data centers:
- Energy consumption: Data centers consume up to 3% of the world’s power² with growing digitalization driving increased demand and straining power grids, contributing to carbon emissions.
- Density issues: Rising data storage and processing needs require higher server density, creating challenges for efficient cooling and heat management that traditional air-cooling struggles to handle.
- Environmental footprint: Data centers have significant environmental impact due to energy consumption and cooling. Minimizing carbon emissions and waste generation is crucial for a sustainable future.
The unrivalled benefits of immersion cooling
Considering these challenges, data centers are turning to alternative cooling solutions that offer superior performance, energy efficiency, and scalability. Immersion cooling has emerged as a leading sustainable option, providing numerous benefits that address the shortcomings of air cooling. Such benefits include:
- Enhanced energy efficiency: Immersion cooling eliminates the need for power-hungry air conditioning systems, leading to significant energy savings.
- Increased density: Immersion-born servers allow for higher server density within limited physical spaces, maximizing resource utilization.
- Improved reliability: By submerging servers in a non-conductive fluid, the risk of hardware failures due to dust, humidity, and temperature fluctuations is greatly reduced.
- Reduced environmental impact: Immersion cooling minimizes the carbon emissions and waste generation associated with traditional cooling methods.
Let’s talk to one of our experts about immersion cooling solutions and implementation.
Robert Haffner, a Senior Product Manager at Hypertec, specializes in Immersion servers and solutions. With a focus on implementing immersion cooling solutions, he works closely with clients to address their specific needs. Robert has agreed to answer a series of questions about Hypertec’s journey, the challenges faced when implementing immersion cooling solutions, and the key factors behind Hypertec’s success in this field.
Q: Can you provide an overview of Hypertec’s immersion cooling solutions?
A: Hypertec addresses the lack of immersion cooling solutions for high TDP, CPUs and GPUs with the CIARA TRIDENT line of immersion-born servers. These servers cater to various needs in data centers and colocation facilities. For example, the TRIDENT iC servers are ideal for compute-intensive tasks required by research labs, media, entertainment, and financial service organizations. The TRIDENT iG Servers excel in GPU-intensive workloads, supporting AI, machine learning, renewable energy research, and medical simulations. Additionally, the iS Servers are designed for high-speed DBMS and software systems at the edge, enhancing latency and user experience.
Q: Can you provide more details about the immersion-born servers, pioneered by Hypertec?
A: Hypertec’s immersion-born servers, part of the TRIDENT series, boast thoughtful design considerations for enhanced functionality and ease of use. IO and network connections (Copper & Fiber) are conveniently located near the surface of the dielectric liquid, ensuring effortless serviceability, connectivity, and installation. Similarly, PCIe connected cards and devices are strategically positioned at the liquid surface, facilitating easy serviceability, connectivity, and installation while accounting for their unique heat tolerances. PSU placement primarily takes advantage of cooler conditions at the bottom of the server, though certain models feature surface-level placement to accommodate N+1 PSU redundancy and swift replacement. Hypertec continually refines the CIARA Trident line based on real-world use and customer feedback, ensuring optimal performance and reliability for their “Immersion Born” systems.
Q: Why did Hypertec choose to focus on single-phase immersion cooling instead of two-phase immersion cooling?
A: Hypertec recognizes the benefits of both cooling techniques. While our CIARA TRIDENT Servers are compatible with both, we have chosen to prioritize single-phase immersion for several reasons. Firstly, single-phase immersion using dielectric liquid offers advantages such as no fluid loss and reduced maintenance compared to two-phase immersion, which involves state changes and higher combustibility risks. Secondly, single-phase immersion solutions are easier to install and can leverage existing HVAC infrastructure, minimizing additional costs. Additionally, the current cost of dielectric liquids for single-phase immersion is lower, and the gap is gradually closing. It’s worth mentioning that deionized water, a significantly cheaper option, can also be used in single-phase immersion environments. Lastly, single-phase immersion eliminates water loss, making it appealing for worldwide immersion server adoption, particularly as global efforts to reduce water consumption gain momentum, such as the EU Commission’s goal of limiting water use to 400ml per kWh of computer power.
Q: What are the main challenges faced by data centers when adopting immersion cooling technology?
A: Drawing on our team’s expertise and two years of field experience immersing servers for customers in a variety of sectors, we have identified four main challenges facing data centers when implementing immersion cooling technology:
- Initial investment: Building an immersion-based data center requires significant upfront investment. However, these costs can be phased in and offset by energy savings, while existing HVAC infrastructure can be repurposed for immersion heat dissipation.
- Compatibility and retrofitting: Immersion cooling may not easily integrate with existing data center infrastructure. However, by using our immersion-born CIARA TRIDENT servers, the need for retrofitting existing servers is eliminated.
- Fluid management: Managing coolant fluid in an immersion system requires careful monitoring and maintenance. Our single-phase immersion solution incorporates CDUs (Coolant Distribution Units) with built-in monitoring and management capabilities.
- Scalability: While immersion cooling enables higher-density server configurations, scaling up an immersion-based data center requires thoughtful planning. We offer expertise and have successfully deployed over 1 million cores of immersion with customers worldwide.
Q: How do Hypertec’s immersion cooling solutions surpass traditional air-cooled servers in energy efficiency and environmental impact?
A: Hypertec’s immersion cooling solutions excel in energy efficiency and environmental impact. Our CIARA TRIDENT immersion servers eliminate the need for internal fans, saving a minimum of 120 watts per hour. Immersion datacenters have zero water loss and reduce overall energy consumption, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. Furthermore, the heat generated by immersion servers can be utilized for climate control, electricity generation, and other purposes. With immersion cooling, Hypertec offers efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for data centers.
Q: Why should data center partner with Hypertec for immersion cooling transition?
A: Data centers should partner with Hypertec for a seamless transition to immersion cooling. With Hypertec, they gain access to a one-stop shop solution, encompassing all the necessary components and expertise. Hypertec’s real-life immersion implementations and extensive experience in the field ensure a smooth and successful transition. Moreover, Hypertec’s commitment to global environmental management, including a green, recycling-based, and low carbon culture, aligns with the sustainability goals of data centers. By choosing Hypertec as a partner, data centers can confidently transition to immersion cooling, benefiting from their expertise and dedication to environmental sustainability.
As the digital landscape continues to expand, data centers face the challenge of effectively managing energy consumption, density, and environmental impact. Traditional air-cooling falls short in meeting these demands, leading to rising costs and environmental concerns. However, immersion cooling has emerged as an efficient and sustainable solution, offering benefits such as enhanced energy efficiency, increased density, improved reliability, and reduced environmental impact. Hypertec, with its expertise in implementing immersion cooling solutions and the launch of the CIARA TRIDENT iC series, provides valuable insights into the future of data centers. By partnering with Hypertec, data centers can unlock the potential of immersion cooling and transition towards a more efficient and sustainable future.
Data Center Frontier: https://hypertec.com/immersion-cooling/
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