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Iceotope outline performance advantages of its cooling technology

Iceotope, a British-based sustainable IT cooling provider, has revealed new findings from the University of Leeds and Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre (PSNC) outlining significant performance advantages of its cooling technology.

Iceotope has liquid cooled IT servers installed at both the University of Leeds and PSNC – a national supercomputing facility in Poland offering shared HPC services to scientists, university and researchers.

Dr Jon Summers and RadosÅ‚aw Januszewski, independent researchers at Leeds and PSNC respectively, have released subsequent studies outlining new performance figures of these novel installations – The key findings of which include:

·         The possibility of full-time ‘turbo mode’ IT in almost any climate (up to a 56 per cent boost in the case of some Intel processors)

·         Massive 40.8 per cent improvement in IT performance/power improvements (as compared to state-of-the-art air cooled servers of the same specification)

·         Partial Power Usage Effectiveness figures of 1.02

‘The new study speaks for itself,’ said Peter Hopton, Iceotope founder and Chief Visionary Officer. ‘Iceotope’s cooling technology has the capacity to increase IT performance considerably through full-time processor turbo modes at densities and temperatures that wouldn’t normally support turbo. Additionally, when we compared the Iceotope system to a modern, hybrid air/liquid-cooled unit at the University of Leeds, running with identical data centre cooling and IT specs of course, we achieved an overall performance/power boost of around 40 percent. This was a state-of-the-art set up too, so I’d expect our improvement to be even more significant when compared to that of a standard HPC or data centre unit.’

Hopton continued: ‘It’s like paying for a standard model Volkswagen Golf but getting the performance of a turbocharged V6 and the efficiency of an eco-engine. IT users will be able to do a great deal more with a great deal less and get real value from their IT. In the UK for instance, a 1 megawatt Iceotope data centre would deliver the same computing services for £300k less a year, with a third off the electricity bill –not to mention the fact that the operator would need to buy less servers.’ 

Revolutionising IT: About Total Liquid Cooling

Total Liquid Cooling is a cooling technique that refers to any high density IT facility that has completely removed the need for air cooling / fans inside the facility, a radical departure from traditional server design. TLC has huge environmental and operational benefits including lower power use and higher IT performance.

Indeed, new figures from Iceotope’s installations at the PSNC and Leeds have demonstrated incredible operational results. PSNC has been able to run the Iceotope servers in full-time turbo mode at temperatures up to 35°C, with utilisation rates above 90 per cent and a pPUE of 1.02. This means that the facility has been able to get considerably more power / use out of the compute than they would have been able to otherwise, and do so even at high temperatures. Such results can be replicated in almost any climate, certainly in Europe where temperatures rarely reach 35°C, and especially so in IT hubs such as the UK and Germany. 

The Leeds installation delivered similar results. It has also shown a 40.8 per cent improvement in overall performance per watt when compared to a state-of-the-art indirect liquid cooled system on-site, with identical data centre cooling plant and IT specs ensuring comparable result.

As well as performance benefits, Iceotope’s TLC installations have also achieved amazing environmental results. At the PSNC, the Iceotope TLC system has proved to be approximately 20 times more efficient than traditional air cooling systems. Indeed, the average overhead on the cooling of the Iceotope cluster was around 2 per cent, as compared to the industry average of 50 per cent (according to a new report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch ‘The Efficient Frontier - Energy Efficiency Primer’). In the PSNC installation, energy consumption for cooling was, in its worst case, was still below 5 per cent of the total energy consumption.

‘The Iceotope system at Leeds has achieved a partial PUE of 1.05’, said Hopton. ‘However, this is actually equivalent to 0.93 once you take into account the removal of fans, which researchers at the University found to reduce IT power by a further 8 per cent. This is a remarkable figure when you consider that a PUE of 1 has long been considered the perfect, impossible number.’

Similarly, new figures from the Iceotope TLC system at Leeds demonstrate cooling power savings of up to 88 per cent compared to a legacy liquid-cooled system on-site, and 29 percent against a state-of-the-art equivalent too.

‘By cooling in a smart way, we can improve IT performance and reduce the costs involved significantly,’ explains PSNC’s RadosÅ‚aw Januszewski. ‘Truth be told, I see no reason why people would buy air cooled systems ever again. In terms of energy efficiency, The Iceotope system is currently the most effective machine in PSNC, it delivers more than twice the performance per Watt in our production environment comparing to other machines.’

Jon Summers at the University of Leeds continued: ‘There are numerous benefits to Total Liquid Cooling and liquid cooling in general. These IT environments usually require fewer fans and rotating components, therefore expending less energy and reducing failure because of less moving parts and thermal shocking due to the greater thermal inertia of liquids. There’s nothing better than liquid when it comes to harvesting and transporting heat and I think we will start to see the demise of air as the default means of cooling IT. This is especially true of high density data centres and HPC facilities, where fans are being replaced by pumps.’


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