Category Archives: Blog

CGG Data Center Tour

Submersion cooling data center from Green Revolution Cooling at CGG in Houston, Texas.

Submersion cooling data center from Green Revolution Cooling at CGG in Houston, Texas.

Rich Miller from Data Center Knowledge recently toured Green Revolution Cooling’s data center installation at CGG in Houston, Texas. One of the largest of its kind in the world, the submersion cooling installation at CGG has been in production for more than two years and has achieved tremendous efficiency results during this time.

Follow the link to see video footage of the data center and to hear from Laurent Clerc, VP of Information Technology at CGG.

The Immersion Data Center — Data Center Knowledge

Video: Taking the Plunge with Submerged Servers

ISC 2013: See you next time!

Green Revolution Cooling has just wrapped up an excellent week in Leipzig, Germany for International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) 2013. We were pleased to share a booth with ClusterVision, Europe’s leading cluster specialist, in showcasing the CarnotJet™, a revolutionary data center cooling system featuring GreenDEF liquid coolant.

Green Revolution Cooling exhibited at ISC 2013 with ClusterVIsion

Green Revolution Cooling exhibited at ISC 2013 with ClusterVIsion

If you missed us at ISC and would still like to chat, please contact info@grcooling.com or +1 (512) 692-8003.

See you next time!

Quartz Article

Submersion Cooling

A new article has been published in Quartz today, “Household Name” Cloud Computing Companies Preparing to Dunk Their Servers in Vats of Oil, which explores the proliferation of liquid cooling in the data center and reveals some of the stealthy progress that Green Revolution Cooling’s technology is making in the cloud computing market.

The article is particularly noteworthy for its excellent summary of the state of the technology:

That’s what makes Green Revolution’s announcement interesting. The giants of cloud computing are companies with large data centers, plenty of space, and a ruthless devotion to cost management. If they’re adopting Green Revolution’s systems before anyone else’s—and based on conversations with competitors, academics and engineers in related fields, that appears to be the case—they must think it’s going to save them real money.

This is exactly right. Implementation of Green Revolution Cooling’s technology is very much a cost-first decision. Submersion cooling shrinks the number of Watts demanded by the data center, and as a result the power infrastructure also shrinks.

The article hits the nail on the head when it comes to the simplicity of the CarnotJet System:

Green Revolution’s solution is relatively low-tech by contrast. All it requires are stock motherboards, big tanks, a pump for mineral oil, and a heat exchanger. The oil doesn’t harm the computers—it’s a poor conductor of electricity, so it can wash right over the circuitry—so the only real point of failure is the pump.

By June or July of this year, according to Andy Price of Green Revolution Cooling, something strange will be announced by at least two of the companies that own the hundreds of thousands of computers that make the internet possible. In out-of-the-way locations, these companies—whose identities Price won’t reveal but, he says, are on a par with Facebook, Amazon and AT&T—are doing bizarre things to their infrastructure. Specifically, to their servers, the high-powered PCs that store, retrieve and process all the data on the internet and comprise the physical structure of the “cloud.”

In an un-air-conditioned shed in a location Price will not disclose, alongside bags of salt used to run a water softening system, sit waist-high tanks full of mineral oil. In their depths are tiny lights blinking like bioluminescent creatures from the abyss, and something even more unexpected: row after row of PC motherboards, craggy with RAM and CPUs and hard drives and cables. Each one is more or less straight off the rack—the same hardware that, in any other data center, would be cooled by an air-moving infrastructure that begins with gigantic air-conditioning systems and ends in palm-sized fans attached directly to the motherboards themselves.

This shift to a new way to build the cloud, says Price, is already in progress. “We’re on the cusp of explosive growth,” he says. “We’re in evaluation stage with household-name cloud providers, but we’re bound by [non-disclosure agreements].”

If what he says is true, then the fact that companies of this scale are seriously evaluating a technology long restricted to only the most demanding applications—places where price hardly matters, like military supercomputing clusters and Wall Street data centers where thousandths of a second can be worth millions of dollars—says a great deal about just how unsustainable current data center infrastructure has become. And also how badly companies need to have data centers in ever more places, not just the sealed, ventilated, customized buildings in which they are currently housed.

Letter from CEO Christiaan Best

Greetings from Austin, Texas –

Here at Green Revolution Cooling, we’ve been working hard to deliver innovative submersion cooling products to forward-thinking data centers in search of the ultimate in cost savings, server performance, and energy savings.

In the past year, GRC has experienced an explosion of growth due to a number of factors: a new wave of adopters in the cloud computing market, a string of positive press generated by high-profile installations, new OEM warranty agreements, and release of positive year-long test results from Intel’s thermal management and materials compatibility lab.

We are especially proud that the majority of our pilot deployments have converted to commercial validation or full production deployments in recent months. GRC continues to expand the submersion cooling portions of numerous customer data centers around the world.

During the next year, GRC will continue to deliver the most capital efficient data center cooling system available. We are working with our customers to develop several exciting augmented product offerings that will greatly enhance the value and usability of the system: containerized racks, seismically retrofitted racks, racks optimized for waste heat recapture, and racks that conform to the Open Compute Project standard, among other offerings.

As adoption of the technology in the data center quickens, we are immensely proud of the savings we are able to pass on to the customer. And more and more our customers are understanding that this savings is as impressive on the CAPEX side as on the OPEX side.

In fact, we’re so confident that the CarnotJet™ system provides the lowest data center build-out costs in the industry that we’re willing to claim it is the single most cost effective cooling system available today.

Don’t believe it? Give us a call and we’ll explain.

In the meantime, thanks for reading. We look forward to another year of creating the most exciting product in the data center.

Sincerely,

Christiaan Best
CEO & Founder

Intel Tests Submersion Cooling from Green Revolution Cooling

Intel Tests Submersion Cooling from Green Revolution Cooling

Supermicro® servers submerged in a CarnotJet™ 42U rack

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) has released details surrounding its first year of testing of Green Revolution Cooling’s CarnotJet™ submersion cooling system. Word of the announcement has spread quickly across numerous high-profile news outlets in recent weeks, including The New York Times, Wired, MIT Technology Review, Gizmodo, Slashdot, Engadget, Data Center Knowledge, GigaOM, and more.

The Intel news is the latest in a series of major events for Green Revolution Cooling. The company has also recently announced a factory server warranty from Supermicro for submersion-ready servers installed in the CarnotJet™ system. The news from Intel has bolstered sales of the product and Green Revolution Cooling has recently announced an installation base of well over a megawatt with a number of new installations on the way. GRC has also recently hired a Systems & Controls team to further refine the control system I/O for seamless data center integration.

The Intel tests have confirmed Green Revolution Cooling’s energy efficiency claims. Intel reported that submerged servers used 7% less energy at platform level due to removal of server fans and reduction of leakage currents in mineral oil coolant. (Typical energy savings range is 5% – 25%, depending on the server manufacturer and model.) Intel also reported a cooling PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) of 1.02-1.03, which means the CarnotJet™ system requires just 3% of IT power to cool the IT servers. Modern data centers typically have a PUE of 1.6-1.7 and air-cooled servers that use 5% – 25% more energy than submerged servers.

Dr. Michael Patterson, a Senior Thermal Engineer with Intel, led the team that has been testing the CarnotJet system for the past year. In multiple interviews with the media, he has been effusive in his praise of GRC’s submersion technology. Said Dr Patterson to EE Times, “I think the C-level [acceptance] may actually happen sooner…The bigger hurdle might be the data center operations folks themselves who don’t pay the energy bill.”

So what does this mean for data centers? Dr Patterson noted that the technology can eliminate numerous modern data center limitations. It can also pave the way for new server innovation. “We could throw some of those rules out,” he expressed to the New York Times in reference to design elements that are optimized for air-flow. The technology enables design, space, and material improvements to servers that would dramatically lower their manufacturing cost. It also enables processor speeds to increase via over-clocking. If servers use less energy and the cooling infrastructure uses less energy, data center server capacity could expand significantly. Without the need for air-handling infrastructure, data centers themselves would cost less than half of what they do today. In the future, more advanced free cooling and heat recovery would be possible, potentially propelling data center net energy use to near-zero.

“We continue to explore server designs, and we’re evaluating how (immersion cooling) can change the way data centers are designed and operated,” Patterson told Data Center Knowledge.

Intel Testing Press Roundup

By now the news has broken that Intel has been evaluating the CarnotJet™ submersion cooling system for the past year. (You can even read a press release here.) Numerous news outlets have picked up the story recently, including Wired, Engadget, Gizmodo, Slashdot, HPCWire, MIT Technology Review, and the New York Times.

What may be interesting for some readers is to learn a little bit more about the history of the Intel collaboration and to dive into some of the far-reaching implications of the Intel data.

Like many customers of Green Revolution Cooling, Intel familiarized itself with the CarnotJet system at a trade show — SC|10 in New Orleans, in this case. Trade shows are an ideal forum for GRC’s submersion technology because many attendees have never seen submersion cooling before passing the booth — and the sight of blinking lights beneath clear liquid is difficult to ignore.

Not long after the trade show, Green Revolution Cooling shipped off a unit to Intel’s Rio Rancho, NM facility in September 2011. Dr Michael Patterson, a distinguished Senior Thermal Engineer, led a team in testing the product.

Goals for the test were as follows:

  • Compare and contrast air cooling and submersion cooling (Green Revolution Cooling) for performance and efficiency
  • Understand how submersion cooling can reduce IT energy as well as data center infrastructure and infrastructure energy
  • Identify changes to IT equipment and the data center to be able to take advantage of submersion/immersion cooling

Testing procedures consisted of stress-testing a rack of 1U servers configured in an air-cooled environment and in GRC’s submersion cooling system. IT workloads varied from idle to peak. The goal was to ascertain detailed information regarding performance, reliability, and efficiency of submerged servers.

Metrics recorded for air: rack power, platform temperature, room temperature, CPU utilization.

Metrics recorded for submersion cooling: rack power, cooling power, platform temperature, room temperature, coolant temperature, pump speed, CPU utilization.

Results were as follows:

  • Submerged servers used less energy at platform level (due to removal of server fans and reduction of leakage currents in mineral oil coolant)
  • Very low PUE (1.02-1.03) compared to typical air cooling (~1.6)
  • Submersion system featured much lower ΔT (temperature difference between processor and cooling medium) because coolant more efficient than air
  • Higher temps = less cooling energy
  • No adverse mechanical effects from submersion

The test proved overwhelmingly successful. The energy savings figures are familiar and speak for themselves (i.e. “Reduce data center cooling power by 95%” and “Reduce server power by 10-20%”) but the infrastructure and server architecture savings figures may not be so clear.

Let’s start with the servers themselves. Submerged in a managed coolant environment, server fans are unnecessary, so let’s delete them from the equation.

  • Delete fans and fan controls, optimize heat sinks for coolant (mineral oil) flow rather than air flow
  • Servers could run faster (over-clock) with more efficient submersion cooling
  • Servers could cost less to build (simplified architectures)

On the infrastructure side of things, submersion cooling removes many costly build-out items, including raised floors and all conditioning.

  • More advanced free cooling possible: submersion platform does not require conditioned space
  • More advanced heat recovery possible: server heat is available in form of water after coolant exchanges to water
  • Data centers would cost less to build

Submersion cooling introduces the possibility of a net-zero power use data center that may be built without any conditioning infrastructure and with servers that are space and cost optimized rather than air-flow optimized.

There are so many benefits to submersion cooling. Intel’s validation is a tremendous stepping stone to achieving larger market acceptance. 

OEM Warranty for Submerged Servers

Green Revolution Cooling Newsletter Header

Green Revolution Cooling Announces Full Factory Warranty for Submerged Supermicro Servers

Supermicro Logo

OEM server warranty comes to Green Revolution Cooling’s submersion cooling system.

August 31, 2012 – Super Micro Computer, Inc. (Supermicro®) is now providing full warranty
coverage for servers installed in the CarnotJet™ submersion cooling
system. The assurance is a momentous step forward for Green Revolution
Cooling and confirms the long-term reliability of servers installed in
the CarnotJet™ system.

With more than 1,000 Supermicro® servers now installed in CarnotJet™
systems worldwide, there is an overwhelming body of evidence suggesting
Supermicro® servers are an ideal compliment to Green Revolution
Cooling’s submersion cooling platform. Lower operating temperatures
result in fewer component failures and increased processor efficiency
and performance, and the managed coolant environment virtually
eliminates cooling hotspots.

The warranty will cover motherboards, backplanes, add-on cards, power
supplies, and processors for parts and labor. DIMM modules and SSDs are
also covered in the warranty, as are all other manufacturer defects
discovered during server operation in the CarnotJet™ system.

Supermicro® is also offering a line of products available
submersion-ready direct from the factory. With Supermicro® servers
turn-key and fully guaranteed, it has never been easier to outfit your
data center with submersion cooling from Green Revolution Cooling.

A joint formal announcement is forthcoming.


 18% Server Power Savings from Submerged Supermicro® Servers

Submerged Supermicro Servers

A large cluster of submerged servers installed in Green Revolution
Cooling’s CarnotJet™ submersion cooling system at CGGVeritas has
expanded to more than 2,000 nodes, and CGGV’s tests have shown that
server power consumption alone has been reduced by 18%!

Green Revolution Cooling began installing submersion-cooled racks at
CGGVeritas in May 2011. The large cluster of submerged servers is
comprised of GPU-accelerated Supermicro® 1U SuperServers
(SYS-1026GT-TF). These servers and others are available
submersion-ready from Supermicro®, absent server fans and with a
submersion-friendly thermal compound substitute installed under the
heatsinks.

Servers installed in Green Revolution Cooling’s flexible cooling system
typically exhibit power savings of 10-25%. The savings comes from the
deletion of server fans and the reduction of leakage currents within
the silicon processors due to the superior cooling.

Substantial additional power savings come from the ultra low-impact
submersion cooling system. The entire CarnotJet™ system requires less
than 50kW to cool every 1MW of IT hardware, compared with 700kW for a
conventional air-cooled data center. The system is able to cool the
densest loads in the industry, up to 100 kW per 42U rack, while
exhibiting tremendous energy efficiency – all for less than half the
cost of best practices air cooling.

Submersion cooling has significantly decreased power needs at
CGGVeritas; continuous conservation allows the company to extend the
life of existing facility resources and to allocate power resources
towards ever increasing hardware density rather than extraneous data
center infrastructure.

The net result is one of the most efficient enterprise HPC computing
platforms in the world, whereby:

[Submerged server power use plus total cooling system power use] is
less than [standard air-cooled server power use alone]

Andy Price, Director of Business Development for Green Revolution
Cooling, said: “The installation at CGGVeritas is a lodestar for the
data center industry. With 18% energy savings from every Supermicro® in
the cluster, in addition to the minimal power use of our system,
CGGVeritas has dramatically reduced resource demand in their data
center while building a state-of-the-art HPC cluster.”


 Green Revolution Cooling Receives Commendation from Uptime Institute

Uptime Institute Green IT Awards

Christiaan Best, GRC’s Founder & CEO, spoke to a crowd of industry
leaders about the appeal of submersion cooling for data centers. “It
was a great experience,” Best said, “The participants are extremely
knowledgeable and hungry for new ideas – something that’s always good
for us.”

Best continued with his take on the state of data center architecture
and technologies: “It’s an exciting time for data center architects –
there’s a lot of innovation out there. But I can guarantee that nobody
can touch the price and performance of submersion cooling. We can
diminish the cost of data center construction to $4 per Watt or less.”

More than two years after its first production installation, Green
Revolution Cooling continues to deploy its CarnotJet™ submersion
cooling system to data centers worldwide.


For more information:
sales@grcooling.com
(512) 692-8003

Datacenter Dynamics Converged San Francisco 2012

Green Revolution Cooling is exhibiting today at Datacenter Dynamics Converged in San Francisco. The single-day event takes place at the Marriott Marquis downtown and features some prominent industry speakers, including:

As an exhibitor and sponsor of the event, Green Revolution Cooling will be displaying a 13U CarnotJet™ System Evaluation Unit (Data Sheet). The display unit features 1U SuperServers from Supermicro® (SYS-1026GT-TF).

This is what the evaluation units look like:

 

The CarnotJet™ submersion cooling system supports any OEM server and provides tremendous cost, performance, and efficiency savings for data centers. Some of the highlights:

  • 95% reduction in data center cooling power
  • 10-20% reduction in server power consumption
  • Support for high-density applications, up to 100 kW per rack if desired
  • Tremendous infrastructure savings

The company will also be test-driving a new trade show banner designed to turn some heads. The goal is to emphasize that submersion cooling is first and foremost a cost play. $5 refers to TOTAL build-out cost.

What do you think? Please contact us with any questions or comments!

 

CarnotJet System Data Sheets

New CarnotJet™ system data sheets have arrived! These data sheets, updated for 2012, contain a lot of useful technical information including system dimensions, electricity requirements, operating parameters, and more.

Check them out below or on the newly refreshed Literature page.

CarnotJet™ System 42U Data Sheet: The basic building block of Green Revolution Cooling’s submersion cooling technology.

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CarnotJet™ System 13U Data Sheet: Green Revolution Cooling has an exciting Evaluation Program that features lease of a fully functional 13U submersion cooling system. Learn more about it below.

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GRC and TACC Recognized by Uptime Institute

Green Revolution Cooling is proud to announce that it has been named a Finalist at this year’s Green Enterprise IT Awards presented by the Uptime Institute. The installation at Texas Advanced Computing Center has received recognition for the Facility Product Deployment category — showcasing installations that have significantly reduced energy consumption of an end user’s data center.

This distinction has been awarded to GRC and TACC for the joint effort that brought a submersion cooling unit to TACC in May 2010 (read the case study here). The system stands as GRC’s first installation, effectively marking the launch of its product, the CarnotJet™ system.

The full press release is available below. May also be viewed via TACC and the Uptime Institute.

Download (PDF, 140KB)

 



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