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Five benefits of a direct liquid cooled data center


Air cooling has long been a conventional method for dissipating heat in data centers, but it is reaching its limits as rack power densities reach unprecedented levels. The escalating demand for processing power in modern data centers results in higher heat generation, surpassing the capacity of traditional air cooling systems.

Verne Finland is excited to implement integration of direct liquid cooling technology, into Pori data center’s existing air-cooled sustainable data center. The direct liquid cooling technology is compatible with existing data center infrastructure, creating a hybrid air/liquid cooling solution. Both systems work together in harmony to meet the needs of customers — all while optimizing growing AI workloads. This enables customers to try out the technology for some workloads, without forcing them to a big shift.

The Growing Need for Liquid Cooling in Data Centers

The demand to process immense, complex workloads is increasing at a rapid pace, requiring high-performance computing (HPC) and extremely efficient data processing. The market is expected to reach nearly $50 billion in 2027, prompting data centers to seek more efficient cooling methods to meet this demand.

To meet growing customer demand, data centers are requiring more power. This growing demand for power comes with more data center heat, leading to the urgent need for more effective cooling strategies, such as direct liquid cooling. Research suggests DLC, when paired with air cooling strategies, can significantly improve power usage effectiveness (PUE) and energy consumption in high-density data centers. Liquid cooling not only preserves energy, but it also transforms data centers into beacons of sustainability.

How Does Direct Liquid Cooling Work?

Direct liquid cooling uses water to manage IT equipment temperatures. Cold plates on top of the heat-generating components capture the heat with the water, with heat being removed to a heat exchanger. This direct transfer of heat is extremely efficient, leading many data centers to leverage DLC to either supplement or even replace their traditional air cooling systems.

The Direct-Impact Benefits of Data Center Direct Liquid Cooling

By directly cooling components with liquid, it minimizes the need for energy-intensive air conditioning, leading to:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Improved performance
  • Cost savings
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Scalability and future-proofing

Let’s take a look at these five benefits:

1.   Energy Efficiency

Air alone is no longer a sufficient data center cooling method for some applications that come with new computing demands. Direct liquid cooling boasts unparalleled heat dissipation capabilities. As the adoption of AI technologies continue to grow at a breakneck pace, rack power densities are reaching unprecedented levels, illustrating how important it is to employ more efficient cooling methods.
The limitations of air’s thermal conductivity can hinder the ability to efficiently absorb and dissipate the intensifying heat loads. Liquid cooling is a more efficient solution for data centers due to its ability to draw heat away from high-power-density racks. This method not only addresses thermal challenges but also enhances energy efficiency by allowing precise temperature control and minimizing excessive airflow. As data centers face increasing computational demands, liquid cooling becomes a more responsive solution for optimizing heat management in the face of rising rack power densities.

2. Improved Performance

New generation CPUs and GPUs have much higher thermal power densities than before, and servers can have multiple of these inside. With high thermal power densities air cooling does not work sufficiently, direct liquid cooling is needed to have the right, optimal temperature.

With inadequate cooling temperatures the CPU / GPUs cannot deliver maximum performance, overheated their performance rate will deteriorate, which in such cases would do with air cooled systems.

Working with Dell Technologies and Intel, Verne is counterbalancing rising compute needs by maximizing performance and cooling efficiency with Dell Technologies’ DLC3000 rack solution, with up to 80kW+ cooling capacity and 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

As companies are demanding more from their servers, data centers are expected to keep up with these expectations. Top-notch performance is required from data center provider. The good news is liquid cooling technology slashes reliance on energy-hungry air conditioning systems, leading to a remarkable reduction in Power Usage Effectiveness (PUEs). In fact, direct liquid cooling is between 50 and 1,000 times more efficient than air cooling.

3.   Cost Savings

Liquid cooling offers a heat transfer capacity that is light years ahead of traditional air cooling methods and will be in more demand to support process-intensive applications to run at the core and the edge. The bottom line matters as well and direct liquid cooling delivers on the promise of cost savings. We are talking about a reduction in operational costs that extends beyond reduced energy bills to include long-term savings on maintenance costs. Not to mention the savings allowing servers to run on maximum performance.

4.   Environmental Sustainability

Not only does liquid cooling drive opportunities to reduce data center energy consumption and PUE, it provides a much more cost-effective business model for repurposing captured heat to decrease demands on building heating systems. Even better, liquid cooling capabilities are much more precise and typically use less water compared to air-cooling systems, equating to more energy efficiency and lower operating costs.

Data centers that leverage renewable energy in tandem with direct liquid cooling represent a win-win scenario for both the facilities and their customers. Direct liquid cooling optimizes energy usage within the data center itself. For customers, this means a more sustainable and environmentally responsible operations. Additionally, the enhanced energy efficiency associated with direct liquid cooling can contribute to cost savings for both the data center operators and their customers, creating a mutually beneficial and environmentally conscious solution.

5.   Scalability and Future-Proofing

In a digital landscape that evolves rapidly, scalability is key. Liquid cooling not only meets current needs but also future-proofs data centers. The density enabled by liquid cooling allows a facility to better use existing data center space and enables the processing of intensive edge applications and AI to be supported where physical space is limited.

DLC has scalability advantages, ensuring that growing data center demands and technological advancements are met with ease. Verne’s Nordic data center campuses are specifically designed to support and scale the most demanding compute needs that come with today’s demanding AI models. Whether you are starting to consider liquid cooling in its various forms or ready to move ahead, we would be happy to explore the differe