Beating the Heat With Water-Cooled Servers

What better time of the year to talk about the refreshing
topic of cooling? More specifically, the efficient and money-saving cooling of
data centers.

Beating the Heat With Water-Cooled ServersAs Tech Republic repoprts, IBM researchers have come up with a water-cooled supercomputer that consumes 40 percent less energy than a
similar air-cooled model. Even better, the system can take the waste heat
generated and funnel it into the building to help with heating. “When you
combine these two developments, the result is a carbon footprint that is
reduced by up to 85 percent.”

The computer, located at the Swiss Federal Institute of
in Zurich, is comprised of IBM BladeCenter Servers and goes by the
name of Aquasar. There are no mainstream commercial products emerging from the
research yet, but chances are there will be.

Why? All discussion of carbon emissions and tree hugging
aside, this is about saving money. A 40 percent energy saving is not to be
taken lightly when you’re looking at your data center’s bottom line. As IBM’s
press release puts it:

Building energy efficient computing systems and
data centers is a staggering undertaking. In fact, up to 50 percent of an average
air-cooled data center’s energy consumption and carbon footprint today is not
caused by computing but by powering the necessary cooling systems to keep the
processors from overheating -a situation that is far from optimal when looking
at energy efficiency from a holistic perspective.

True enough. One way to become an IT hero is to find ways to
save money on basic infrastructural costs like these. You can learn more about
IBM’s latest thinking in water-cooled components at the very interesting IBM Research site.

— Don Willmott


–Don Willmott