Datacenter Cooling Methods: Everything You Need to Know
Data centers are critical infrastructures that host the digital assets of businesses, organizations, and individuals. They accommodate various hardware that generates considerable amounts of heat. That's why data center cooling methods are necessary to help the equipment deliver the best performance.
Data center cooling systems are useful to maintain optimized performance, longer lifespan, lowered energy costs, and more. In this post, we aim to learn more about different data center cooling solutions. We’ll also review the benefits and drawbacks of them.
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Data center cooling is generally the process of regulating the temperature and humidity in a data center environment. The main purpose of using it is to make sure that critical IT equipment operates optimally.
Data centers accommodate numerous computer servers, storage devices, networking equipment, and other high-performance hardware that generate massive heat. Therefore, special systems are necessary to prevent downtime and failures.
Data center cooling methods regulate different parameters such as temperature and airflow to make sure that IT equipment can operate properly without overheating. They use different technologies such as air conditioning units, computer room air handlers (CRAHs), and liquid cooling solutions to regulate these parameters.
If the generated heat in a data center isn't removed from the system, it may lead to destructive upshots such as data loss. It can also lead to physical damage to equipment and shorten its lifespan. In worst cases, even fire outbreaks are also possible.
Generally speaking, data center cooling solutions are necessary because they:
- Maintain optimal performance of the IT equipment
- Increase equipment lifespan
- Reduce energy costs
- Minimize the risk of system failures and downtime
- Lower safety risks
- Ensure the reliability of the equipment
- Control the humidity
Data center cooling methods provide several benefits that enhance the performance and lifespan of IT equipment. Some of these benefits are:
- Ensured Server Uptime: Data center cooling systems ensure server uptime as they prevent failures and downtime of the equipment caused by overheating. They maintain a stable environment to make servers and other hardware operate efficiently. This reduces the risk of system crashes and service disruptions.
- Greater Efficiency: They enhance energy efficiency as they reduce the amount of energy you need to cool down the equipment. This way, you won't need additional equipment such as backup generators and cooling towers, hence reducing the total power consumption.
- Longer Lifespan: They can extend the lifespan of IT equipment as they prevent physical damage and wear resulting from high temperatures. They preserve the optimal temperature and humidity to help the equipment work for longer periods.
Despite all of their benefits, data center cooling solutions have some drawbacks too.
- Inevitable Costs: Cooling systems need gigantic amounts of energy to operate. This can result in soaring electricity bills. What's more, it's so costly to acquire and maintain special equipment, especially for large-scale data centers.
- Harmful Environmental Impacts: The massive consumption of energy that's needed to cool down the IT equipment can lead to disastrous environmental consequences such as increased carbon emissions and air pollution. Also, such technologies as refrigerants can have negative effects on the environment, including depleted ozone and global warming.
There are several data center cooling solutions. Choosing the proper method depends on different factors such as the size of the facility, equipment density, and energy efficiency goals.
Here are the most common systems:
In this method, server racks are arranged to face each other in alternating rows. The front of the servers (cold aisle) faces the same direction, and the back (hot aisle) faces the other direction. This arrangement allows for the efficient circulation of cool air through the cold aisle and the extraction of hot air through the hot aisle.
This method is a variation of the previous method. It involves enclosing the cold aisle and hot aisle using doors, curtains, or other physical barriers. This method limits the amount of required cooling and prevents hot and cold air from getting mixed, thereby reducing the consumption of energy considerably.
Through this method, technical equipment such as liquid cooling systems or rear-door heat exchangers are used to get rid of the generated heat. This method is ideal for high-density computing environments where traditional methods may be inadequate.
In this solution, there's a closed-loop system where chilled water circulates and removes heat from hot equipment. The efficiency of this method is high, but it's costly as it needs specialized equipment and plumbing.
Liquid immersion cooling involves immersing IT equipment in a non-conductive liquid such as oil or a specialized coolant to extract heat directly from the equipment. This method is highly efficient and can reduce energy consumption enormously.
Liquid immersion cooling also diminishes the wear and tear resulting from high temperatures, hence extending the lifespan of the equipment. It's a relatively new technology and might be expensive for some small businesses.
Data center cooling methods are today an undetectable part of the facility that's extremely necessary for the optimized performance of the equipment. Among these techniques, liquid immersion cooling is one of the most efficient options out there and that's why BiXBiT has put its primary focus on it.
If you need wonderful immersion cooling platforms of any size for your data center or mining farm, BiXBiT offers the product you need. Our products vary from BiXBiT Cell for home mining farms and BiXBiT Rack for small and medium-sized businesses, to BiXBiT Container for launching mining hotels and our specific immersion liquid COOLANT.