Cooling

3 Easy Steps to Choose the Right Server Cooling Solution

by GIGABYTE
The modern data center has a lot on its plate. 5G-related applications are ramping up and cloud services are becoming commonplace. Artificial intelligence pervades every aspect of our lives, the Internet of Things (IoT) and V2X (vehicle to everything) networks keep all and sundry connected, and we may soon be traipsing in the “metaverse”. To keep up with all these technological marvels, the TDP (thermal design power) of the latest generation of processors has steadily crept from 150 watts to more than 300 watts per chip. It should come as no surprise, then, that leading enterprises are always on the lookout for advanced system cooling solutions that can achieve the optimal balance between performance and power efficiency.

For servers and data centers, the three main types of cooling are as below:
■ Air cooling: Air conditioning paired with an airflow-friendly hardware design is the primary way of dissipating heat.
■ Liquid cooling: By pumping coolant through sealed tubes (called cooling loops) that coil around heat-generating components, heat can be transferred out of the system.
■ Immersion cooling: By submerging servers directly in a bath of nonconductive liquid, the heat generated by the components can be efficiently dissipated. Immersion cooling can be further categorized as single-phase or two-phase immersion cooling.

Every cooling method has its unique strengths. We would like to share some tips that can help you understand the energy consumption and the space you need for deploying your servers, as well as the total installation costs and the reliability of your data center. This information may help you more effectively pick out a system cooling solution that matches the performance demands and investment plans of your enterprise or organization.
GIGABYTE Technology has a range of advanced cooling solutions, from air to liquid to immersion. We can recommend the most optimal products for clients of different scales and needs. Focus on what you do best, and let GIGABYTE take care of cooling.
Step #1: Understand Your Server’s Energy Consumption and Dimensions
The first step to choosing a system cooling solution is to get a clear grasp of your performance requirements; this includes the type of server you are using, how much power it consumes, and how much physical space is needed to deploy the server.

The reason is simple: even if the footprint is identical, the three cooling methods will still deliver different results. To use a standard server rack as a basis of comparison, air cooling offers 20kW of heat dissipation, which may make it better suited to less densely populated server configurations in a spacious data center; liquid cooling offers 60kW of heat dissipation, which may allow for denser configurations and processing power that approaches the level of HPC (high performance computing); single-phase immersion cooling offers 200kW of heat dissipation, while two-phase immersion cooling offers 250kW of heat dissipation—these methods may be ideal for advanced computing scenarios in which space is very much restricted, such as edge computing.

Glossary:
What is TDP?
What is Liquid Cooling?
What is Immersion Cooling?
Step #2: Evaluate Total Installation Costs and Reliability
Another important thing to consider during the initial phase of choosing a system cooling solution is whether the total costs will match your investment plan, and whether scalability has been taken into account. Air cooling usually costs the least to set up. GIGABYTE Technology’s air-cooled servers come with a proprietary airflow-friendly hardware design. This means the overall airflow direction of the chassis has been fine-tuned to optimize ventilation. Automatic fan speed control helps to strike a balance between optimal cooling and energy efficiency.

Liquid cooling fundamentally changes the game. Not only does a data center that supports liquid cooling have no need for conventional air conditioning equipment, it also allows for the reduction of the number of fan modules. The upshot is the amount of power consumed by the fans is reduced to 40%, what translates to upwards of 60% in power conservation. Liquid cooling supports the deployment of a denser and more powerful configuration of CPUs and GPUs. In turn, this allows space inside data centers and server rooms to be used more efficiently, and it improves the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) in such facilities. Operation costs and expenditure are lowered as a result.

As for immersion cooling, whether it’s the single-phase or two-phase variant, the enclosed nature of the solution protects the servers from a variety of external elements. What’s more, there is no vibration from the fans to cause fatigue in the components, nor is there any need for additional maintenance on peripheral equipment. Due to this, the reliability and MTBF (mean time between failures) are substantially improved. Last but not least, two-phase immersion lowers the maintenance requirement and failure rates of the equipment in the long term, and it enhances overall reliability. Not only does this cut down on operating costs and improve the bottom line, it also reduces the environmental impact.

Learn More:
Two-phase and Single-phase Liquid Immersion Cooling
Flexibility and Reliability: Direct Liquid Cooling
Step #3: Consult GIGABYTE and Benefit from Our Bona Fides in Advanced Cooling
GIGABYTE has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to server products and system cooling solutions. Here are some examples of how GIGABYTE has provided air cooling, liquid cooling, single-phase and two-phase immersion cooling solutions to clients around the globe.

Arizona’s Lowell Observatory is using GIGABYTE’s G-Series GPU Server to analyze “stellar noise” emitted by the stars in its search for a “second Earth”. The server is working around the clock to analyze data. GIGABYTE’s air-cooled server uses its baseboard management controller (BMC) to monitor the temperatures of key components, so that it can automatically adjust the fan speed to keep everything running smoothly and reliably.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) deployed GIGABYTE’s liquid-cooled H-Series High Density Servers. This decision resulted in a 15% reduction in power demand and a 50% reduction in server footprint compared with competing products. It also provided up to twice the maximum computing power when compared with competing products.

For success stories involving immersion cooling, you need go no further than Japan’s telecom leader KDDI, which built a “container-type immersion cooling small data center” that reduced power consumption by 43% and lowered the PUE below 1.07 using single-phase immersion cooling and GIGABYTE servers. A world-famous semiconductor giant chose GIGABYTE to build “green HPC data centers” that boosted the performance of HPC processors by over 10% and lowered the PUE below 1.08 by using two-phase immersion cooling.

GIGABYTE Technology provides advanced system cooling solutions utilizing air cooling, liquid cooling, and immersion cooling for customers in every sector so they can build their own high-performing, energy-efficient data centers. If you are looking for system cooling solutions that best match your performance needs and investment plans, talk to GIGABYTE! We encourage you to reach out to our sales representatives at server.grp@GIGABYTE.com for consultation.
Futher Reading:
《Glossary: What is PUE?
Lowell Observatory Looks for Habitable Exoplanets with GIGABYTE Servers
GIGABYTE Servers Become Part of the German Aerospace Center’s Data Center
Japanese Telco Leader KDDI Invents Immersion Cooling Small Data Center with GIGABYTE
Semiconductor Giant Selects GIGABYTE’s Two-Phase Immersion Cooling Solution