We live in a technological era; advancements across a wide variety of fields have led to a faster and easier life for most Americans. For businesses, data is a key differentiator: the faster your company can react to consumers’ needs and interests, the more likely they are to be favored over competitors. This means you need to put a lot of power — and money — into your computing systems. Since data centers can operate at significantly higher and more efficient rates than most office buildings are capable of, they offer an ideal solution for companies trying to handle a lot of information or who require a lot of computing power.
Unfortunately, data centers have one main weakness: heat. The cost of cooling immense warehouses full of server racks and high-tech computers can run into the tens of millions depending on the center’s location and size. However, as this sector grows in need and popularity, more money is funneled into researching more cost-effective and efficient ways of cooling data centers. At Bisnow’s recent Data Center Investment Conference and Expo, West in San Jose, everyone seemed to agree about the future of data center cooling.
“There’s a fair amount of consensus that the end game is using immersion cooling,” Google Machine Learning Infrastructure Project Manager Marc Bhuyan said.
Immersion cooling relies on a dielectric fluid to insulate and cool equipment. In terms of efficiency, it has been proven to improve rack density and cooling capacity, and widen data center design and location options. The result ensures a significant amount of savings for the data center, and where there are savings for one, there are savings for all.
Many data centers act as web hosts: since the two main Internet activities involve email and search, SEO companies have realized that a considerable amount of computing power can make their sites more palatable, and therefore their SEO techniques more effective. As such, they’ve turned to data centers to host their websites. If more data centers turn to cost-effective methods of cooling, like immersion cooling, those who rely on web hosts will also see a decrease in cost.
The future of companies that depend on data centers are as much affected by these new cooling technologies — in whatever form they may take — as the centers themselves. Only time will tell what new developments will arise.