back to article Equinix would offer more liquid cooling but struggles without standards

Datacenter giant Equinix knows it needs to offer liquid cooling to its clients, but is struggling to deliver because there are no standards for the design of servers. "If you look at the silicon roadmaps from Intel, Nvidia and AMD, these things are space heaters," said Zachary Smith, Equinix's global head of edge …

  1. DS999 Silver badge

    One benefit of this would be

    It is a lot easier to recover the heat from a fluid than from air. Assuming there is something nearby that can use it to heat water for industrial purposes, or concentrate it to make steam for district heating of residential/commercial buildings (if they are already set it up for that)

    The local university has steam tunnels running everywhere, the steam is made by burning natural gas (when I was a kid it was burning coal) If there was a datacenter nearby it could sell the steam and offset that natural gas use and save money for them and for the university.

  2. Bitsminer Silver badge

    carry the weight of rooms full of the dielectric fluids...

    Back at $WORK we had a tour through the secure (classified) computing room.

    It was a large copper box with RF-seals on the (airtight) door, seating for 4 close friends at a table, and a small grill for airflow.

    The fire-suppression was a water sprinkler. The airflow grill was located at the top of one wall.

    Seeing this, I thought to myself, "self, what do you think is the weight of the water that would accumulate in this box before flowing out the grill? How full would it be before crashing down to the floor below?"

    We asked the vendor rep. He got very quiet for a while, then promised to move the grill nearer the floor. "No one had ever asked that question before."

  3. CapeCarl

    China Syndrome // server equivilent?

    "But again, Smith again has worries. Among his concerns is the fact that multi-storey datacenters were not built to carry the weight of rooms full of the dielectric fluids needed for immersion cooling."

    My 2017 - 2021 experience with immersion cooling was with vats on raised floor, in a single floor suburban warehouse type structure...The rows of vats were perhaps 4 or 5' apart.

    One of the cooling systems vendor's touted features was that said vats could be placed on a bare concrete pad (thus saving building a raised floor room). Which to me somewhat implied a ground level floor.

    I would NEVER want to work in some old urban multi-story telco hotel / data center, with these vats on a floor above me.


    Yes we are heading to liquid cooling, given the hockey stick uptick power-per-socket...But has anyone factored in the extra cost in data center tech time to install/maintain all the rack plumbing if we go water-cooled systems in traditional air-cooled racks?...I doubt that anyone has added that expense to their circa 2023+ server TCO spreadsheet.

    1. MJB7

      Re: China Syndrome // server equivilent?

      > said vats could be placed on a bare concrete pad... Which to me somewhat implied a ground level floor.

      Why? My house has concrete on all three floors.

      1. mistersaxon

        Re: China Syndrome // server equivilent?

        The question is what is the weight loading limit, whatever the floor is made of. Some IBM racks weigh 250kg or more EMPTY. Weight is already an issue in DCs…

  4. Roland6 Silver badge

    Is full immersion really "the solution"?

    Given the main heat generator in a server is the CPU, I would have thought as a here-and-now solution the use of existing liquid cooling rigs scaled up to handle racks etc. would be a viable solution. Okay it is not as simple as just dropping a server into a cooling pool.

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