Vette Corp. believes its time for liquid cooling to have a higher profile. Today it is launching Coolcentric, a new division of Vette to market its LiquiCool systems, which cools servers using a water-cooled heat exchanger in the rear door of the cabinet.
Coolcentric will make the case for liquid cooling as a tool to save money and space while making data centers more energy efficient, a pitch designed to resonate with data center managers grappling with corporate focus on cost-cutting and sustainability.
“A majority of the world’s data centers are highly inefficient and utilize legacy air cooling methods that consume vast amounts of energy,” said George Dannecker, President and CEO of Vette Corp. “The benefits of data center liquid cooling are clear, evidenced by dramatic reductions in power consumption, space requirements and operating costs. Coolcentric aligns all our knowledge, experience and resources to best serve the needs of owners and operators of sustainable data centers.”
Liquid cooling is the subject of frequent debate in the industry. Cooling methods using water and refrigerants are often used in high-performance computing. Many computing experts predict that rising power densities and heat loads will eventually prompt more widespread use of liquid cooling for servers. But many data center operators remain reluctant to introduce liquids into their facilities for fear that leaks may damage equipment – despite the legacy of water-cooled mainframes.
Passive Cooling System
The LiquiCool rear-door heat exchanger is a passive system that doesn’t use fans, which can dramatically reduce the amount of energy required to cool a cabinet. The Vette solution prevailed in the first Vendor Chill-Off held by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in 2008, and is running in thousands of racks. The door mounts on most vendor enclosures through the use of a transition frame. See our video demo of the LiquiCool system and how it works.
Coolcentric, which previously operated as the Datacom Facilities Division of Vette, is focused on reducing data center costs. The LiquiCool Rear Door Heat eXchanger (RDHx) can support power densities of up to 30 kilowatts per rack, making it easier for customers to consolidate workloads that previously required multiple racks into a smaller footprint.
Shrinking the Footprint
DataSite Orlando used Coolcentric gear to confront the cooling challenges faced by a customer running blade servers in a configuration using 500 watts of power per square foot. The use of seven RDHx units allowed the client to reduce its data center footprint from 3,000 square feet to just 600 square feet.
While cost savings are attractive to all data center operators, the case for liquid cooling remains most compelling for companies facing the kind of heat densities seen at DataSite Orlando.
“As conventional architectures for air cooling are overrun by the power densities in data centers, industry participants gradually look at liquid cooling as an effective alternative,” said Jorge Moreno, Research Analyst, Frost and Sullivan.
The use of rear-door heat exchangers instead of computer room air conditioners (CRACs) requires an adjustment for many data center veterans, according to Mike Gagnon, global marketing manager for Coolcentric.
“In some cases, it’s a huge paradigm shift,” said Gagnon. “Some of these data center managers have been working with CRAC units their whole lives.”
But it also creates some intriguing design possibilities. “With these systems, you don’t need a hot aisle/cold aisle design anymore,” Gagnon noted.