Egenera launches liquid-cooled server

Egenera has produced a liquid-cooled server to deal with its high-end data center computers.

The hardware makers, working with Liebert, have come up with a design that contains some 9,250 Watts of cooling load -- the equivalent of raising a data center's floor by eight foot with traditional air cooling.

The server design is the same as existing Egenera servers, with up to 24 blade servers (each able to house four dual-core Opterons), a SAN and memory, all packed into a 42U rack and connected via a 10Gbit/s proprietary backplane. It can be partitioned into as many virtual machines as they need, running Linux, Windows or Solaris, and uses separate controller blades for external input/output.

While it is an extremely powerful server, its density is such that some data center cooling systems are unable to cope.

So instead, cooling is supplied by a Liebert fluid-based system significantly more efficient at removing heat than air. The company's XD product pumps a liquid refrigerant through radiators designed to clip onto the backplane of Egenera's BladeFrame. The XD pump can be mounted up to 150 feet from the unit and each pump can deliver enough coolant for eight BladeFrames. The coolant is a Liebert-developed chemical that becomes a nontoxic gas at room temperature, according to Busby.

Marketing manager Susan Davis said its solution was unique because there are no connections emerging from the back of the rack, unlike any other comparable system. As a result, the back of the system can be entirely covered by liquid-filled radiators to cool exhaust air pushed out by blade-mounted fans.

The cooling system costs some $US300 to $US400 per blade, and a complete rack system starts at $US89,000, depending on configuration. Fujitsu Siemens is one of its key distributors.

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