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Iceotope: No need to switch servers to swap air-cooled for liquid-cooled

Standard datacenter kit just needs a few tweaks, like pulling off the fans

Liquid cooling specialist Iceotope claims its latest system allows customers to easily convert existing air-cooled servers to use its liquid cooling with just a few minor modifications.

Iceotope’s Ku:l Data Center chassis-level cooling technology has been developed in partnership with Intel and HPE, the company said, when it debuted the tech this week at HPE’s Discover 2022 conference in Las Vegas. The companies claim it delivers energy savings and a boost in performance.

According to Iceotope, the sealed liquid-cooled chassis enclosure used with Ku:l Data Center allows users to convert off-the-shelf air-cooled servers to liquid-cooled systems with a few small modifications, such as removing the fans.

The company said this allows for standard datacenter equipment, including edge and datacenter racks, to be used to accommodate liquid-cooled systems. It claimed that maintenance and hot-swapping can be carried out on-site without the need for heavy lifting gear or spill kits.

In laboratory tests using HPE’s widely deployed ProLiant DL380 hardware, Iceotope said that this cooling system demonstrated a 4 percent increase in performance, with zero CPU throttling at higher ambient temperatures.

The liquid cooled systems consumed 1kW less energy at rack level than their air-cooled counterparts, Iceotope claimed, representing a 5 percent energy saving for the demonstration setup and a potential 30 percent saving possible at scale, based on a typical cooling power usage effectiveness (pPUE) of 1.4 in air and 1.04 in liquid cooled datacenters.

At HPE Discover, the setup is apparently being demonstrated operating in a standard Schneider Electric NetShelter rack fitted with a Schneider heat removal unit. For customers, integration of the Ku:l Data Center system with ProLiant DL380 servers is supported by IT distributor Avnet.

Iceotope’s Director of Product Strategy Jason Matteson said that the Ku:l Data Center system demonstrates “a very practical response” to an urgent need for a paradigm shift in datacenter design as the power consumption of IT infrastructure continues to rise.

According to Cisco, the next generation of processors from AMD and Intel are likely to hit 400W of power consumption, and this will likely mean that by 2025, all tier-one server vendors will have to start offering some form of liquid cooling solution.

Speaking to our sister site The Next Platform, Cisco senior director of engineering for its Cloud and Compute Business Dattatri Mattur said that organizations are not wanting to do a rip and replace of their infrastructure, but are “looking to see how they can evolve things as the new CPUs and new GPUs come through.”

In addition to keeping systems cool, Iceotope said that its liquid-cooled chassis design is sealed, and so helps protect the infrastructure from dust, gases, and humidity, creating a stable operating environment. ®

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