Data centers are undergoing a sea change in terms of their contribution to the economy, calling for significant innovations in facility infrastructure. Each year, the world uses greater volumes of data than the year before. And as more people go online, they’re also making use of more data-intensive services, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. Together, these developments are pushing a tide of interest in liquid-cooled data centers.
The market for data center cooling is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 14.8% this decade. That would put it at over $45 billion by the early 2030s. As such, greater investment in cooling will be necessary to meet the demand for more servers.
Cooling technology is at the forefront of data center concerns because it’s one of the main determinants of processor capacity, finances, and sustainability. Conventional air cooling is reaching its limits, underlining the importance of liquid cooling for next-level processing capacity.
This is where liquid immersion cooling comes in, with its promise of solving current challenges in the industry by boosting server density while keeping economic and environmental costs down. With a line of immersion cooling tanks deployed in large data centers around the planet, GRC is part of the solution.
How Does Liquid Cooling Work?
Liquid-cooled data centers transport heat from servers into a liquid coolant instead of into the air. Because liquid is three orders of magnitude better than air at moving heat, this technology offers far superior cooling potential.
It’s this powerful cooling that makes liquid the coolant of the future. Processors are on a steep upward trajectory with respect to power consumption. Data centers are already topping out, with air cooling unable to support rack densities above some 30 kilowatts. In the next few years, liquid-cooled data centers will go from a leading-edge design to the mainstream solution, by necessity. At present, GRC’s liquid cooling can handle 368 kilowatts per rack!
There are several variants of liquid cooling currently in use. While they all work by moving heat from servers to a liquid, they differ in architecture. The most effective liquid cooling technology is “immersion” cooling, and it works by simply depositing the servers in a protective liquid. Alternative approaches pump the liquid coolant through complex devices that don’t come in direct contact with the IT hardware, robbing them of efficiency compared with the liquid immersion method.
Are Liquid Immersion-Cooled Data Centers Better?
Liquid immersion-cooled data centers are generally much better than the air-cooled equivalent. In addition to raising the maximum server density, liquid cooling also boasts lower capital outlays, lower operating expenses, lower emissions, and quieter processes. Furthermore, liquid immersion protects servers against corrosion, vibrations, and numerous other hazards.
Conversely, air cooling offers none of these advantages. For a start, it requires costly infrastructure, such as generators and raised floors. In addition, air’s poor cooling ability subjects servers to multiple risks—from slow functionality to hardware failure. Even with careful planning, and while running the air coolers far colder than necessary, data centers have to watch out for hot spots and tight power limits.
The main reason air cooling remains in use is because it’s been around long enough to have become quite commonplace. As a result, although it may take some time for this outdated technology to disappear entirely, it’s already non-competitive with newer liquid cooling options.
Worldwide, liquid immersion cooling is attracting larger numbers of customers and expanding its share of the market. Because cooling systems are among the most substantial data center investments, it’s important to make the right choice. And while liquid immersion is particularly popular for high-density server installations, it can be installed anywhere.
Why Are Data Centers Making the Move to Liquid Immersion Cooling?
Data centers are making the move to liquid immersion cooling to gain all the benefits this technology offers—including lower costs, higher processor densities, and enhanced sustainability. Considering the global economy’s rapid digital transformation, facilities are increasingly under pressure to adopt this improved technology, and to keep pace with the ever-growing demands for computation.
Data center sustainability is becoming more of a concern, particularly as data centers now account for 2% of global electricity use. And that percentage is rising fast, with much of this electricity generated from carbon-spewing fossil fuels. Liquid immersion-cooled data centers conserve 95% of this cooling energy compared with air, helping to alleviate the environmental burden.
For high-density installations, there isn’t really a choice—air simply cannot meet the needs of modern processors. Likewise, facilities that have already maxed out their power envelope need to turn to liquid immersion cooling to free up capacity.
Liquid cooling solutions, such as GRC’s immersion tanks, also give data centers more flexibility. You can use liquid immersion anywhere: warehouses without raised floors, parking lots, edge data centers, normal data centers, or essentially anywhere you want.
Join the Liquid-Immersion Cooling Revolution
Liquid immersion cooling makes data centers more environmentally and economically viable. Facilities also become quieter and safer. This technology has become, without a doubt, the most practical method for cooling servers.
The remarkable effectiveness of liquid coolants underlying all these benefits is attracting a growing number of data centers. Hyperscalers, government agencies, and facilities of all shapes and sizes are increasingly drawn to the impressive performance of immersion cooling. Liquid immersion cooling is able to manage even the most demanding computation—to find out how, download GRC’s free white paper.
Now that you’ve seen how useful liquid immersion cooling is, add your data center to those enjoying lower costs and higher performance. GRC develops the industry’s leading liquid immersion cooling solutions for data centers. These systems are quick and easy to install, not requiring any raised floors or air handlers.
Once you deploy GRC’s liquid immersion cooling, you’ll see steady returns from the silent efficiency of innovative technology. Join the global economy as it transitions to practical green cooling. Contact GRC now to take the plunge.