Direct liquid cooling helps the server dissipate heat through the use of sealed tubes (called cooling loops) filled with coolant. The cooling loops coil around key components inside the server chassis. Thermal energy is transferred from the components to the coolant through conductive copper plates, also called cold plates. The heated coolant is then circulated outside the server to a heat exchanger, which removes the heat from the coolant before piping it back into the server to repeat the cycle.
The heat exchanger may be installed in the same server rack as the liquid-cooled server, so that the heat is expelled directly into the hot aisle of an air-cooled data center. This is what is known as a liquid-to-air cooling setup, and it makes it easier for conventional data centers to dip a toe into liquid cooling without overhauling the entire infrastructure. Conversely, a liquid-to-liquid cooling setup transfers heated coolant from all the server racks to a centralized heat exchanger that is part of facility's liquid-based cooling loop. While this method is even more effective at dissipating heat, the server room will have to be designed from the outset to support liquid-cooled servers.
One recent example of GIGABYTE's DLC solution is the deployment of a new GIGABYTE HPC cluster in the German Aerospace Center. GIGABYTE's H261-Z60 Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) server from the H-Series of High Density Servers were combined with a CoolIT DLC system to build the new cluster. The solution provided up to twice the maximum computing power of competing products on the market, reduced the servers' footprint by 50%, and met the client's requirement of operating high-performance servers in an ambient temperature of 40°C with no air conditioning, in order to better meet the goals of energy efficiency and carbon reduction.
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[Video] GIGABYTE Server Liquid Cooling Solutions