Iceotope Study with Meta Shows Effectiveness of Precision Immersion Liquid Cooling for High-Density Storage Drives

Iceotope Study with Meta Shows Effectiveness of Precision Immersion Liquid Cooling for High-Density Storage Drives

Iceotope announces new research conducted with Meta that validates the practicality, effectiveness and efficiency of chassis-level liquid cooling technology to meet the cooling requirements of increasingly deployed high-density storage drives and used by hyperscale data center service providers.

A recently published study by Meta demonstrates the benefits of improved thermal management, vibration reduction and temperature equalization throughout JBOD, which lead directly to reduced failure rates and costs for data center operators. Rack-mounted hard drive systems in chassis drawers are ideal for precision immersion cooling technology.

Neil Edmunds, Chief Innovation Officer of Iceotope, said: “As the demand for data storage continues to grow, hyperscale data center providers will require the implementation of solutions to effectively cool equipment. The study found that liquid cooling for high-density storage enables drives to be cooled to a lower, more consistent temperature, reducing drive failures and operating costs and improving ESG compliance. »

High-density storage is on the rise

With constant data streams from the Internet of Things, video, artificial intelligence and more, up to 463 exabytes of data are expected to be created per person every day by 2025. Access to and interaction with data is constantly changing, which has a real impact on data processing and storage. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, in just a few years global data storage is predicted to exceed 200 zettabytes, half of which will be stored in the cloud.

This presents an unprecedented challenge for hyperscale data center storage infrastructure. According to Seagate, cloud data centers choose high-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) to store 90% of their exabytes. Typically packaged in a 3.5-inch form factor, hard drives are a proven technology that continues to provide data center operators with cost-effective storage at scale. Current high-end devices offer 20 TB of capacity, but this is expected to increase to > 120 TB by the end of the decade.

More data storage means more spinning disks, higher speed motors, and more actuators, which translates into more power consumption. As the power of the discs increases, so does the amount of heat they generate. In the last decade, the introduction of helium into hard drive enclosures has not only improved drive performance with less friction, but since the blocks are now sealed, the possibility of using liquid cooling at the hard drive level has been considered.

Meta Study of High Density Storage Liquid Cooling

The research presents an air-cooled, high-density storage system redesigned to use single-phase immersion cooling. A standard commercial storage system consisted of seventy-two hard drives, two single-slot nodes, two SAS expansion cards, one network card, and a 4OU form factor power distribution card. The hard drives were hermetically sealed and filled with helium.

The liquid cooling system tested was the Iceotop precision immersion liquid cooling system. The air-cooled version has been modified by adding a special dielectric circuit connected to the liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger and pump. Meta measured hard drive temperature changes and cooling pump power in air-cooled and liquid-cooled systems.

The results are conclusive

Research has successfully demonstrated that precision immersion cooling is a more efficient way to cool hard drive racks, with the following results:

• Thanks to precise liquid immersion cooling, the temperature difference between the 72 hard drives was only 3°C, regardless of their placement in JBODs.

• Liquid cooling has demonstrated that hard drive systems can reliably operate with rack inlet water temperatures of up to 40°C.

• System-level cooling power accounted for less than five percent of total energy consumption.

• Virtually silent operation of liquid cooling helps eliminate acoustic vibration problems for drivers often encountered with air-cooled solutions.

While precision immersion has proven to be a superior alternative to air-cooled high-density disk arrays, other forms of liquid cooling, including cold plates, tank immersion, or two-phase immersion, do not retain as many operational benefits, such as stable disk density, user access to service and the ability to hot-swap drivers.

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