UII UPDATE 250 | MAY 2024
Intelligence Update

Capacity planning for liquid-cooled data centers

As it becomes more difficult to cool high-performance server silicon with air, a significant number of data center operators now expect that they will have to introduce liquid-cooled racks (or tanks) into their facilities. A cardinal design point when setting up a facility for direct liquid cooling (DLC) and rear-door heat exchangers is the coolant distribution unit (CDU).

Traditionally, CDUs come bundled with and dedicated to the IT hardware they will support. But as their requirement becomes more common, many operators now prefer to develop a standard approach in their facilities rather than having to deal with isolated pools of liquid-cooled IT systems. This preference, however, puts the onus of equipment specification and selection on the operator’s technical organization — and the task may prove to be non-trivial.

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