Dealing with 30 kW heat load blade server

Data center cooling
Data center facilities
Data Center power management
Power management
How do you deal with a 30 kW heat load blade server?

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You could get a number of answers to this, but I will give you three possibilities I think are valid. However, because you didn’t identify whose blades these are, or how they are configured in the cabinet, or how the 30 kW figure was obtained, these may not all be applicable solutions in your particular situation.

First I feel compelled to suggest that you make sure this really is a 30 kW load before taking drastic measures or spending lots of money on a solution. 30 kW of actual load would require serious power service, so that’s the first think I would look at to validate. You would need something like two 100-Amp, 3-Phase, 208-Volt circuits to the cabinet for Dual Powering. More likely it would be four 60-Amp or perhaps eight 30-Amp circuits, all 208-Volt, 3-Phase, of course. If you don’t have this level of power feeding the cabinets, then these Blades aren’t really drawing 30 kW. You should get actual readings during heavy processing, or better data from the manufacturer, before proceeding.

If you really need to cool 30 kW, my first suggestion would be to split the Blade Centers into two cabinets located in areas with sufficient cooling capacity and separated from each other by at least a few cabinets. They you can use one of the “Heat Containment” cabinets or retro-fit Air Boosting solutions on the market to move enough air to the Blades to cool them. But look carefully at these solutions. Not all of them live up to their marketing claims. And be sure that a fan-boosted solution doesn’t steal its air from surrounding cabinets, causing other hardware to overheat. Fans will take the air they want from wherever they can get it. 15 kW should get at least 1,600 CFM of air to properly cool.

For a single, concentrated 30 kW load, a high-end liquid-cooled cabinet may be the most realistic solution. They are expensive and require carefully installed piping, but the good ones do work. This assumes, of course, that you have chilled water available. If not, putting in chillers could become unrealistic.
A third option, and probably a more far-sighted one, is “In-Row” Cooling. But this again assumes the availability of chilled water or the installation of a chiller system of some type to support the cooling solution. This is generally more complicated than the liquid-cooled cabinet, but has the long-term advantage of preparing you to handle additional high-density loads more easily.

In short, 30 kW is the equivalent of several electric stoves and ovens running full blast in the same small place. There’s nothing easy about cooling these loads, and more than the cookies will burn if you don’t do it well.

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