In today’s issue of the Data Center Knowledge email newsletter, there was an article about Clustered Systems’ new blade server enclosure that configures 16 blades into a 20 kW chassis (  Each blade is cooled with a cold plate containing a tubing system filled with liquid coolant.  If the company can deliver this technology and cool an entire cabinet of blades using 100kW it could be a paradigm shift for those that operate high performance data centers and server arrays.  The first test of this will be done at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Palo Alto, California.

Since it takes less energy to move a liquid than it does a fan, this could really reduce the PUE (Power Usage Efficiency rating) of most data centers. That’s the Holy Grail for data center operators.  This new system requires only a 480 volt power source and a water supply.  Obviously, there is no need for chillers and only minimal cooling equipment.  The refrigerant system includes a pump and heat exchanger where the refrigerant interacts with the water loop.  This particular system was tested with water at a temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit, which is similar to other water-cooled solutions.   Each chassis takes up 8 rack units and includes 16 blades, each with 2 cold pates for heat removal and a 20 kW power distribution unit.  Five of the 8U chassis can fit in a rack.  According to the DCK article, this server chassis was jointly developed by Clustered Systems, Intel, Emerson Network Power, Panduit, One Stop Systems, Inc., Smart Modular and Inforce.

Though pricing hasn’t yet been announced, Clustered Systems claims that it will be “highly competitive with other POD and container based systems.”  That means that a 3.2 MW data center using the new blade chassis could cost as little as $9.2 million, or about $3 million per MW of critical load. Truly amazing!

I know… many of you might be thinking, “Water near my servers? Are you out of your mind?”  However, if you have a laptop, you have a water-cooled solution built in.  That’s been going on since 2002 (!