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Why aren't servers/supercomputers water cooled?

Ok, so I'm not enormously knowledgeable about how server/supercomputer cooling works in comparison to standard workstation cooling, but wouldn't water cooling be a more effective method of cooling in the long run?

 

I have no doubt that it'd be hella expensive to set it up in the first place, and possible more expensive to maintain, but wouldn't water cooling mean servers could be more reliable in terms of hardware life and overheating?

 

Supercomputers, on the other hand, seem like they should be watercooled anyway so that you can beef up the hardware in the computer itself and essentially 'do better' at whatever it's supposed to do.

 

Someone teach me things about this! :D

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Servers are supposed to be reliable. Watercooling adds another point of failure.

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Failure. Servers often go days, weeks even months without physical attention - if you have a res leak, the first you're going to know about is when you get a ticket from a customer complaining their services is down. 

 

Maintenance can also be an issue though with AIO units, not so much. 

 

Space - water cooling loops take up a lot of space and space is a premium with blade servers and general high density cases that are designed to maximise storage and minimise footprint. 

 

However with that being said, I saw something recently about someone looking at implementing it. 

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Servers are supposed to be reliable. Watercooling adds another point of failure.

 

^ This. It's quite unreliable for larger systems and air works fine (as long as you don't have to be in the same room ;) ).

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Expense and failure rate.

Some super computers use extreme forms of nitrogen cooling and I think water unsure which one

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I'd say it is a hell lot easier to replace a fan or a heatsink than replace a watercooled solution. If lets say it's just a fan failure then it probably can be replaced without even taking the server down. ( just my assumption I don't know much about servers :P)

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Expense and failure rate.

Some super computers use extreme forms of nitrogen cooling and I think water unsure which one

they use phase change to cool water, the water will then chill the when it enters the cabinets.

so its still air cooled but the air is just very cold.

 

look at Cray´s ECOphlex liquid cooling for example.

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Just submerge it in oil :)

Then what about the hard disks? because lbh, creating a server with ssd's would be verry expensive

And if you would want to upgrade the server or to replace a broken component, what would you do?

 

And I think that this applies to supercomputers too, not to mention how big the aquarium/ water tank would need to be

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Then what about the hard disks? because lbh, creating a server with ssd's would be verry expensive

And if you would want to upgrade the server or to replace a broken component, what would you do?

 

And I think that this applies to supercomputers too, not to mention how big the aquarium/ water tank would need to be

 

It was a joke referring to Slicks oil cooled rig...

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You guys should check Toms visit in Oak Ridge National Lab, the article is saying that Titan is liquid nitrogen cooled.

 

Correct me if I am mistaken.

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It was a joke referring to Slicks oil cooling rig...

I think that everybody noticed *sarcasm*

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It would cost an enormous amount of money to design and then actually liquid cool a sever/super computer. Money that might as well be spent on improving the actual computer or infrastructer. I'm sure you could do it but it would be pointless from a monetary stand point.

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Cost... Nuf said

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and they are kept in air condition rooms, if they are run be a reputable company.

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A requirement given when running servers is high uptime.  Downtime for loop maintenance and or leak testing is completely unacceptable in enterprise environments.  Especially when you're already busy enough with other projects, the last thing a sysadmin wants to have to do is fix a water loop.  Trust me, I'm a sysadmin.

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I think the general idea that maintenance costs vs the performance gains not making sense for servers is pretty solid, its easier to air condition the rooms they are in. I can picture push fit systems that could solve this but they would have specific to each mother board

 

Super computers have been  usually by immersion. But Titans air cooling delvers air at 5.5C (42F) which kinda obviates the need for water cooling. I'd want the cores of my super computer liquid He cooled

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a large server room is watercooled. The back exhaust of all the servers blows the hot air in an enclosure behind the servers. At the top of the enclosure r running chilled-water cooling coils, the ascending air gets cooled by those coils and flow's back in to the room to be used again to cool the server. 

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Then what about the hard disks? because lbh, creating a server with ssd's would be verry expensive

And if you would want to upgrade the server or to replace a broken component, what would you do?

 

And I think that this applies to supercomputers too, not to mention how big the aquarium/ water tank would need to be

Well you could have the hard drives in a separate room.
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There are "Watercooled" supercomputers, or at least 1 in Germany, named SuperMUC. 

 

http://www.lrz.de/services/compute/supermuc/

 

http://www.lrz.de/presse/ereignisse/2010-12-13_supermuc-vertrag/warmwasserkuehlung/

imagine folding with something like that.

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a large server room is watercooled. The back exhaust of all the servers blows the hot air in an enclosure behind the servers. At the top of the enclosure r running chilled-water cooling coils, the ascending air gets cooled by those coils and flow's back in to the room to be used again to cool the server

So the server itself is air cooled. It's the room getting the water treatment. 

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So the server itself is air cooled. It's the room getting the water treatment. 

For the record air con is actually phase change

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