Austin-based Midas Networks will soon offer colocation customers the opportunity to submerge their servers in a liquid cooling enclosure. Midas is the first hosting customer for Green Revolution Cooling, an Austin startup that says its approach can produce large savings on infrastructure, allowing users to operate servers without a raised floor, air conditioning units or chillers.
Midas Networks has purchased four of Green Revolution's 42U CarnotJet racks, which submerge servers in a dielectric fluid. The CarnotJet system resembles a rack tipped over on its back, with servers inserted vertically into slots in the enclosure, which is filled with a coolant similar to mineral oil. The Midas installation is scheduled to be operational in the fourth quarter of this year.
Not Just for HPC Anymore
Green Revolution introduced its product last fall at the SC09 supercomputing show, targeting high performance computing (HPC) applications supporting power loads of 25 kilowatts per rack and beyond. Liquid cooling has been fairly common in HPC and supercomputing environments, but not in colocation facilities. But that's changing as more companies pack their gear into high-density racks.
"The market is moving towards denser server applications," said Ken Tooke of Midas Networks. "Now we will be one of the few colocation and hosting centers that can properly support blades, trays and other extremely dense computing platforms. With GR Cooling racks, our costs will be a lot lower too - for any type of server, low density or high density. We will pass that savings along to our customer."
Dielectric Cooling Not New
Submersion cooling isn't new. Mineral oil has been used in immersion cooling because it is not hazardous and transfers heat almost as well as water, but doesn't conduct an electric charge. Many DCK readers may be familiar with Fluorinert, a dielectric coolant from 3M that was used in the Cray 2 and other supercomputers. An immersion system with a different design was introduced by UK firm Iceotope at the SC09 event, while Hardcore Computing introduced its Liquid Blade immersion cooling unit this spring..
We spoke with Green Revolution co-founder Christiaan Best earlier this year at Data Center World, where he provided an overview of his company's offering, along with a look at a demo of a "swimming server" at the company's booth.