As of May 15, 2024, Involta began operating under the name Ark Data Centers. This content may contain references to our former company name.

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Direct Liquid Cooling Enables High-Performance Computing in Involta Data Centers

03/27/2023

Involta has been in the data center business for nearly 20 years. We’re proud of our superior infrastructure and services and our adaptive, always-learning approach to service delivery. With 12 purpose-built data centers, 12,000+ fiber miles across multiple edge markets and unmatched security and compliance solutions, we keep our fingers on the pulse of trends in the data center industry.

The search for better ways to cool data centers is ongoing, and Involta was one of the first to see the potential of DataSox™, a customizable, porous/diffuse fabric ventilation system. We’ve used DataSox to cool our data centers efficiently since 2017, and we’re always evaluating additional cooling strategies.

The latest research suggests that liquid cooling, when paired with air cooling strategies, improves power usage effectiveness (PUE) and energy consumption in high-density data centers. We’re excited to be at the forefront of the industry with the implementation of direct liquid cooling (DLC).

Direct Liquid Cooling Basics

DLC uses liquid coolant to manage IT rack temperatures. The process decreases the demand for air cooling by absorbing much of the heat generated by IT equipment via convection. The heated liquid solution is then pumped through a heat exchanger to be cooled before recirculating the liquid back to the stacks.

Specialists from NVIDIA and Vertiv studied the impact of liquid cooling and found significant reductions in total power consumption. For more detail, we suggest reading What happens when you introduce liquid cooling into an air-cooled data center?, an insightful article from Fred Rebarber, senior technical director, Thermal Solutions at Vertiv.

The hybrid approach the team tested works, and we’re excited to be implementing DLC infrastructure in our Akron, OH data center.

Evolving consumer needs demand innovative data center cooling strategies

One of our large clients’ compute environment continues to grow exponentially, requiring ever-increasing amounts of power and computing capacity. Meeting this client’s processing demands to run large, complex workloads requires high performance computing (HPC) and extremely efficient data center processing. Involta data centers are designed to meet extremely high power demands, but more power means equipment will generate more heat and require more effective cooling strategies.

While our air-cooling systems adhere to ASHRAE® environment guidelines and are already energy efficient, they have reached their maximum cooling capacity. We knew our client needed us to do more. Investing in DLC infrastructure ensured we could continue to meet this client’s growing needs and supply additional Involta data center tenants with access to this new cooling technology.

Investing in direct liquid cooling

Implementing DLC infrastructure is an investment, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Over the past several months, Involta’s Akron team has been hard at work preparing the data center for DLC.

Exterior work began with extensive site preparation to create adequate protected space for a new chiller yard. After excavation and foundation work, we poured new concrete slabs to house both chiller units and the enclosure. Galvanized steel tube structural posts and solid panels resist both wind and weather, protecting the chillers from the range of elements Ohio climates experience throughout the year.

Chiller enclosure fence structure installation

Inside the data center, we’ve energized our electrical room with new UPS systems that will allow for increased power demands. UPS also protects equipment from damage in the event of power failure. Additionally, we installed HPC power modules to improve processing capabilities and capacity.

HPC power modules

We’ve also installed new piping loop that connects the data hall, mechanical room,heat exchanger/cooling distribution unit (CDU) and exterior chiller unit. This piping network is critical to liquid cooling systems as it transports the liquid through various stages of the DLC process.

HPC clear water loop

With all of this new infrastructure in place, Involta is positioned to manage equipment temperatures more efficiently, which will ultimately enable tech to operate at a higher capacity.

DLC strengthens Involta’s promise to deliver Superior Infrastructure and Services

DLC supports growing business demands and allows Involta clients to operate more efficiently. And while DLC enables HPC, it requires a significant amount of power. Involta data centers are already strongly positioned in terms of capacity, and we will be tracking our PUE and energy consumption closely to manage critical loads effectively and ensure our facilities remain highly efficient.

The world of technology is evolving rapidly, with new strategies and innovations around every corner. Involta will continue to be at the forefront with innovations like DLC to enable our clients to transform their worlds with technology – it’s non-negotiable as we hold to our brand promise of Superior Infrastructure and Services, Operational Excellence and People Who Deliver.

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