Jun 14 2012

Is Liquid Cooling Making a Comeback for Blade Servers?

A return to an older method of cooling could be on the horizon for blade servers.

Liquid cooling of processors is usually associated with mainframe computers. But this approach could be making a comeback for blade servers.

Blades have become popular because of their size. Typically only 1U thick (1.75 inches of vertical rack space), they can be used to build powerful computing complexes in small spaces. But those small spaces can get hot enough to damage electronics, so racked blades require auxiliary cooling beyond what their individual fans can provide.

New blade racks are coming onto the market capable of immersing the blades in a liquid coolant similar to the inert fluids used in transformers. The blades are lowered into the rack-tanks vertically, with their front panels facing up.

Optical drives must be removed first, and the heat-sinking grease needs to be removed from the microprocessor mounting assemblies.

Such systems have the promise of radically reducing air-conditioning needs.

Read more about server lifecycle management.


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