Liquid Blade: Submerged Blade Servers

Hardcore Computer, which specializes in water-cooled PCs, has introduced the Liquid Blade, which immerses blade servers in a liquid cooling solution.

One of the new Liquid Blade units from Hardcore Computer, which cools the blades with a non-conductive liquid cooling solution.

In the past year we've seen several new cooling systems that submerge rack-mount servers. Now liquid cooling is coming to blade servers.

Hardcore Computer, which specializes in water-cooled PCs, introduced its new Liquid Blade product at the recent Blade Systems Insight Summit 2010, where it was presented the Best Datacenter Innovation Award.

The Liquid Blade platform features two Intel 5500 or 5600 series Xeon processors, housed in a chassis that immerses the blades in Hardcore's Core Coolant - a clear dielectric fluid that is odorless and biodegradable. Each blade chassis is 2.6 inches wide, 7 inches high and 32 inches deep. Seven of the chassis can fit in a 5U shelf in a 19-inch rack or cabinet.

Efficiency, Cost Advantages Touted
Liquid cooling provides a more efficient heat transfer than air, and offers potential savings to companies that can commit to a liquid-cooled design. Liquid Blade's submerged servers eliminate the need for rack-level fans, and would require only enough room air conditioning to keep staff comfortable. Hardcore says its system requires no specialized fire protection systems for the servers, since all the blade components are submerged.

"Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of our liquid submersion cooling technology in the datacenter is a 60 percent or more reduction in cooling cost compared to traditional air-cooling or air-conditioning-cooling," said Chad Attlesey, the CTO of Hardcore Computer. "Our Core Coolant is 1,350 times better than air, by volume. This minimizes the need for air conditioning and air moving equipment inside the datacenter.

Submersion cooling isn’t new. Mineral oil has been used in immersion cooling because it is not hazardous, transfers heat almost as well as water but doesn’t conduct an electric charge.

Many readers may be familiar with Fluorinert, a dielectric coolant from 3M that was used in the Cray 2 and other supercomputers. In recent months we've featured two new immersion cooling solutions for rack-mount servers from Iceotope and Green Revolution.

Render Farms As a Use Case
Liquid Blade can be configured with a graphics board, and Hardcore is touting its capabilities for advanced video rendering workloads such as medical imaging, digital content render farms, computer-aided design, engineering simulation and modeling and distributed network gaming.

Hardcore says Liquid Blade is currently available to approved "early ship" customers, with general availability to follow in September.

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