Briefing Report

Resiliency considerations with direct liquid cooling

Direct liquid cooling (DLC) promises attractive thermal performance and economics, and vendors are commercializing cold plate and immersion systems in anticipation of growing demand. Use of the technology is now set to expand beyond specialized technical computing applications, making its first significant inroads into mission-critical installations that tend to place strict demands on cooling resiliency.

Resiliency standards and best practices, however, have been shaped by the near-universal use of air cooling in data centers. DLC’s design differences raise concerns for cooling-system resiliency because they introduce new failure scenarios and complicate the allocation of responsibilities between facilities and IT teams. Organizations deploying DLC face a shortage of applicable guidance and need to compensate with thorough planning and negotiation between staff teams. This report suggests guiding questions to define resiliency, beginning with the primary business objectives.

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