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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Considerations to Prepare Data Centers for High-Density Computing


Data center

The surge in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has led to an increased demand for high-density data centers with complex power and cooling requirements. As operators strive to meet this demand, upgrading legacy data centers becomes imperative. However, this process requires careful assessment and consideration of several key factors to ensure successful deployment of high-density computing.


Infrastructure Assessment

Before installing high-density computing, a comprehensive assessment of the current infrastructure is crucial. This includes evaluating the power and cooling systems to determine if they can support increased density and demand. Upgrading the cooling infrastructure is often necessary to manage higher thermal loads associated with high-density computing hardware.

Three primary cooling options are available:


1. Direct-to-Chip Cooling: This method involves transferring heat directly from the chip to a cooling system, typically using liquid or refrigerant cooling mechanisms. It offers efficient heat dissipation and is particularly effective for high-density computing.

2. Immersion Cooling: Components are submerged in a non-conductive liquid coolant, rapidly absorbing heat and maintaining low temperatures. Immersion cooling eliminates the need for traditional air-cooling systems, enhancing energy efficiency.

3. Active Rear Door Cooling: This technique involves installing fan units on the rear door of server cabinets to introduce cool air from the rear, optimizing cooling efficiency and reducing energy use.


Structural assessments are also necessary to confirm that existing weight load capacity can support new equipment loads within the smaller footprint.

 

Compatibility and Integration

It's essential to ensure that the selected cooling technology is compatible with existing or new hardware and infrastructure. Integration challenges or limitations should be identified and addressed to ensure the successful implementation of high-density computing.


Scalability and Future-Proofing

Consider the scalability and long-term sustainability of the solution. Ensure that the selected cooling technology can support future growth and expansion plans. This flexibility is vital as computing demands evolve and business requirements change over time.


Energy Efficiency

New cooling technologies offer enhanced energy efficiency compared to traditional methods. Evaluate the energy efficiency of various cooling solutions and consider potential cost savings. A Total Cost of Ownership model can help estimate savings achieved through reduced power consumption, aiming to optimize power usage while maximizing cooling performance.


Maintenance and Support

Consider maintenance requirements and the availability of support services. Access to reliable technical support and maintenance is vital for maintaining the reliability and performance of high-density computing environments.

In conclusion, upgrading legacy data centers for high-density computing requires careful consideration of infrastructure, compatibility, scalability, energy efficiency, and maintenance. By thoroughly assessing these factors, operators can ensure the successful deployment of high-density computing, maximizing efficiency and meeting the demands of AI and ML applications in the modern data center landscape.

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