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According to market analysis agency The 451 Group, there’s an increasing need for water-cooled systems in the data center. At ICC, we’ve seen the benefits of switching from noisy, inefficient air conditioning to streamlined, virtually silent water-cooled options — these include everything from heat recycling opportunities to more control over rack configurations to lower total power costs. Here’s what you need to know about water cooling.

How it Works

There are two basic types of water-cooled systems: immersive and direct. Immersive systems submerge servers into water, while direct systems use a series of copper pipes installed around heat-producing components. While immersive options remove the need for fans, it’s often necessary to use a solvent in addition to (or in place of) water. Direct cooling options, meanwhile, pump cold water through the pipes to pick up any excess heat. The water is then cooled off, recycled and used again.

It’s also worth noting that unlike air conditioning, water-cooled systems are passive, meaning less maintenance work for IT professionals and a much smaller chance that something will go wrong.

Getting Hotter

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recently increased the recommended temperature range for server rooms up to 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, it’s no longer necessary to have racks stored in the kind of bone-chilling temperatures offered by commercial AC units. Getting maximum performance out of your equipment now means running hotter but making sure that cooling doesn’t spike or drop, as can happen with airflow. Water-cooled systems, meanwhile, provide granular control over individual rack temperatures.

There’s also opportunity for innovation — in California, a desalination company is using data center technology to help offset the costs of removing salt from deep-sea water. Since water deeper than 100 feet is too cold for desalination techniques, it will first be pumped through a data center, providing free cooling and getting the salt water up to a usable temperature.

Liquid Courage

Getting started with an ICC water-cooling system is simple. First, contact one of our experts to determine which solution best fits your needs. Based on your power consumption, performance requirements and physical server footprint we’ll create a customized plan for your business. Next, we’ll build your water-cooled servers from the ground up, using a high-stress five-day burn-in procedure to ensure only the best chips are shipped with your new system. More than 68 percent of the chips we test fail this stress test and never make it to market — many other vendors assume every chip they buy is the same, but at ICC we know the value of finding outliers.

If you’re considering the move to a water-cooled solution, let us help. We’ve got the technology, expertise and training necessary to ensure your system can handle even the hottest server rooms and keep your network running at full capacity.

Want the best in water cooling? Start with ICC.

-Written by Srijay Sunil on Sept. 14 2015