How Direct Contact Liquid Cooling Maximizes Data Center Efficiency, Density and Performance

 In Blog
1. Simple Physics

Liquid is 3,500 times better at storing and transferring heat than air.



Thermal Conductivity

0.024 W/m/°C

0.58 W/m/°C

Molecular Density



Level of Control




2. Liquid is Controllable

Liquid cooling can be channeled and directed specifically to the areas in a server that produce heat. This ability to apply cooling directly to critical components such as the processors is almost unlimited and drives maximum efficiency, density and performance. The tightly controllable nature of water contrasts greatly with air which struggles to be channeled through servers to end up concentrated at components that require critical amounts of temperature control. Air cooling has always turned to brute force to increase performance….blow huge volumes of air through the tightly packed servers so that a reasonable percentage reaches the right components.


3. Liquid Lowers Your Operating Costs

Everyone is trying to improve cooling infrastructure because it is one of the biggest expenses in a data center. Lowering the cost of cooling is a practical, simple way to reduce operating expenses.
The cost of powering and cooling a data center during its lifetime is now comparable to the cost to purchase the entire system. It is said that an HPC data center today draws 10 times more power than it did 10 years ago and with the growing demand on computer performance, the power requirement is going to continue to rise.
Today’s modern air cooling techniques are still very expensive to operate. Traditional data centers use chiller based systems that use an average of 50% of all data center power! Warm-water cooling eliminates or drastically reduces the need for chilled water supply.
Integrating liquid cooling initially increases the basic server cost; however, this increase is quickly offset by several factors:
• A high density solution requires less standard data center equipment (racks, switches, raised-floor, etc) that lowers overall CAPEX
• A 25%-30% decrease in OPEX thanks to reduced chilled water requirements when using warm water cooling. The average ROI for the leading direct contact liquid cooling system is 0-6 months


4.Increased Density and Performance

In today’s market, good is not good enough. Achieving high performance computing with high density systems is critical. Liquid cooling allows each rack within the system to be fully stacked with servers that have multiple CPUs and GPUs. This translates into substantial compute power in as little space as possible.

5. Compete and Win

Compare the risk of losing competitiveness with the risk of adopting a tried, tested and proven technology. What risk is greater?
Pumping liquid into an expensive server rack may feel risky, but the fact remains, air is not enough. Considering the evolution of liquid cooling technology over the last few years combined with the industry’s competitive nature and growing processing demands, it’s not hard to understand why liquid cooling is taking the world by storm.


6. Make the Most of What You Have

Some liquid cooling solutions have demanding installation and maintenance requirements, while others allow you to keep the data center equipment you have. Integrating a direct contact liquid cooling system that can accommodate a variety of server designs, rack architecture and data center environments while delivering a considerable and relatively pain free upgrade is most often ideal.

When considering a liquid cooling solution, ask the following:

• Will it integrate into my existing server architecture?
• Can it accommodate my particular data center design?
• Is it easy to install?
• Can it be used in mix-use space?
• Is it scalable?


7. Retrofittable – Transition at Your Own Pace

Like with any major change, it’s essential to consider the impact and long term result of the change prior to diving into the deep end. While some liquid cooling solutions require immediate building and design changes, such as the infrastructure required to support perimeter or in-row cooling, others allow customers to transition to a new solution in a number of stages. This makes it possible to add units as you add computing and avoid costs for infrastructure that you don’t need.