Asetek, probably best known as a darling of the gamer world for users who wanted to get the highest possible performance out of their systems by water cooling their overclocked CPUs, is much less well-known for their forays into the enterprise computing market. But with a demonstration at next week’s High performance computing SC12 show, they want to show just how far from those desktop roots they have come.
Their RackCDU Liquid Cooling system is a rack-agnostic hot water cooling technology which allows for significantly greater per rack CPU densities and a serious reduction in cooling costs. Designed to complement free air cooling in the datacenter, the RackCDU is designed to carry heat out of the datacenter, cool the water medium using outside air, then recirculate back to the racks. This means that they can accomplish their cooling without the need for additional power consumption to reduce the coolant temperature.
Asetek is making two major claims for the RackCDU. The first is that in can increase rack density up to two and a half times, the second is that reduce the energy needed for cooling that IT workload by 50% or more. To demonstrate this they will be running a fully populated rack, under a full load, at the SC12 show using Caedium’s OpenFoam based CFD software.
The RackCDU is a zero footprint device in that the CDU (Cooling Disatribution Unit)t is actually a 10” rack extension designed to fit into any vendor’s standard 48U server rack. The chip cooling loops are direct replacement for existing heat sinks and make use of dripless connections to minimize any potential issues with liquid circulating the rack. Tubing exts the system boards through unused PCI slots and is designed to be installed in both new deployments and to be a retrofit to existing racks during server refresh cycles.
Maximum utilization of the RackCDU would also involve making use of the waste heat being removed from the racks. This could be done, for example, by using that heat energy to warm other parts of the facility in cooler weather. Adding functionality such as this can further increase the overall energy savings that the RackCDU claims to deliver.