Sun Debuts New Rack Cooling Door

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Sun Microsystems (JAVA) has introduced a new cooling system housed in the rear-door of data center racks, which the company says can cool cabinets housing power loads of up to 35 kilowatts. The Sun Cooling Door, which attaches to the back of a Sun 6048 Blade Chassis, can use either chilled water or refrigerants. It employs a passive design that doesn’t require additional fans to circulate air.

Sun’s new doors were demonstrated at the SC08 supercomputing event as “Project Glacier,” and use a rear-door design similar to that used by the IBM Cool Blue technology, which is also marketed by Vette Corp. The IBM/Vette water-chilled system used the least energy in a head-to-head vendor “chill off” last year that tested the energy efficiency of vendor cooling products, and was hosted in Sun’s data center in Santa Clara.

The new rear-door rack cooling unit was unveiled as part of a broader launch of Sun server and storage products, including new offerings for the high-performance computing (HPC) market offering high-speed networking and energy-saving storage options using solid state design (SSD) and new Sun Flash Modules.

The seven new server models being introduced by Sun use the Intel Xeon 5500 (Nehalem) processor, which features four cores and automated energy efficiency enhancements, providing users with greater control of their energy use. For more details, see Sun’s web site.

Sun’s rear-door technology is available as either the Sun Cooling Door 5200 with chilled-water infrastructure, or the Sun Cooling Door 5600, which utilizes an “eco-friendly” refrigerant gas. “These advanced cooling options remove heat at the source, require minimal datacenter footprint and can help avoid costly datacenter makeovers,” Sun said in a press release.

The 42 rack unit Sun 5200 door is about 6 inches deep, and requires a 1-inch pipe connection, providing users the option of a water line feed from overhead or under the floor. It weighs 198 pounds empty and 214 pounds when filled with coolant.

The Sun 5600 model uses the Liebert XD cooling infrastructure, which uses an inert refrigerant gas called R134a. The 5600 unit is lighter, weighing 130 pounds empty and 141 pounds when filled with coolant.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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