Hardcore Unveils Liquid Cooling For Blades

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In a development that could remove the need for air cooling inside data centres, a company is now offering liquid immersion cooling for blade servers

A number of different liquid cooling systems for rack servers have begun to appear recently but, in a move that could be of interest to the data centre industry, a company claims to be offering liquid immersion cooling for blade servers for the first time.

Total Liquid Submersion

High performance computer maker, Hardcore Computer, announced that it has taken its total liquid submersion technology to the server market, with the launch of Liquid Blade, which it claims is “the first Total Liquid Submersion blade server.”

Liquid submersion cooling for servers is relatively new technology and, to date, several systems have emerged where a rack-mount server is submerged.

But the Liquid Blade from Hardcore is different. The initial Liquid Blade server platform is powered by two Intel 5500 or 5600 series Xeon processors. Hardcore says that this Liquid Blade is able to address several major data centre concerns, namely power, cooling and space. All of the heat-producing components are submerged, which Hardcore claims removes the greatest barrier of performance and reliability in electronics – namely heat.

Cooler Data Centres?

“Hardcore’s Core Coolant is 1350 times better than air at heat removal by volume. Not only does this help cool components better, Liquid Blade technology increases compute density because far less space is required between components with liquid cooling than air and much smaller chassis sizes are possible,” said the company.

“With all the heat being rejected though liquid, there is no longer a need for fans on the rack level. With little heat escaping into the data centre, the need for air conditioning and air moving equipment is minimised. The net result is a much smaller physical and carbon footprint for the data centre. As an added benefit, no need for special fire protection systems to cover the servers. This because all of the blade components are submerged so there is no oxygen exposure. Without oxygen there is no potential for sustainable fire.”

Reliability is also improved as Hardcore says that cooler parts last longer.

“Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of our liquid submersion cooling technology in the data centre is a 60 percent or more reduction in cooling cost compared to traditional air-cooling or air-conditioning-cooling,” said Chad Attlesey, CTO, Hardcore Computer. “Our Core Coolant is 1350 times better than air, by volume. This minimises the need for air conditioning and air moving equipment inside the data centre.”

Rack Or Blade, Its All Geek To Me

But what is the difference between a rack and a blade server?

A rack-mount server is essentially an entire server in a thin housing or casing, that can be arranged in an industrial rack. These rack-mount servers are designed to be bolted on a rack, and a single standard rack is capable of holding 10 to 20 servers.

A blade server on the other hand is a server chassis that houses multiple thin, modular electronic circuit boards, which are known as server blades. Each blade is a server in its own right, and often each blade is dedicated to a single application. Therefore the blades are essentially servers on a card. This card contains the processors, memory, input/output (IO) ports etc.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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