As the rise of machine learning and AI take over processes in marketing, analytics and operations, the need for more efficient data center cooling becomes more prevalent. One of the most popular ways to complete this process is through the use of liquid cooling. This is taking over from HVAC plans in many new data centers and those being renovated as well.
“You’ve got row, upon row, upon row of just racks, filled with our servers. And our hardware operations team are in there every day, upgrading, repairing, deploying … constantly,” Kava, Google’s VP of data centers, said in an interview with Data Center Knowledge. “Imagine if you had all of those servers soaking in hundreds of thousands of gallons of mineral oil.”
This would enable data center managers to keep the servers cooler, while keeping them closer together, reducing space needed for data centers.
Air cooling’s faults are becoming more apparent. It’s just not very good as a heat transfer medium. As data centre equipment has increased in density, the use of large fans has decreased because of a lack of space; so has the capability to move the large volumes of air required through the equipment. Being a gas, air has poor heat conductivity, so extra means are required to transfer the heat from its source into the air itself. Therefore, fins must be attached to hot spots to maximize the surface area available for heat transfer away from the equipment.
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