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Press Release

Equinix expands liquid cooling support for AI workloads in data centres worldwide

Tue 12 Dec 2023

Equinix Liquid Cooling

Equinix has expanded its support for advanced liquid cooling technologies in more than 100 of its International Business Exchange data centres across over 45 metros globally.

This initiative, which extends beyond Equinix’s existing liquid-to-air cooling solutions, aims to accommodate the increasing demand for high-density hardware essential for compute-intensive workloads such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Sean Graham, Research Director at IDC, highlighted the growing necessity for these advancements: “We have seen an increase in demand for data-intensive and high-compute applications like AI.”

“The hardware required to run these new applications is pushing up densities inside data centres and can no longer be efficiently cooled by traditional techniques,” added Graham.

Equinix will facilitate the deployment of advanced liquid cooling solutions in key metros, including London, Silicon Valley, Singapore, and Washington D.C.

Tiffany Osias, Vice President of Global Colocation at Equinix, said: “Liquid cooling is revolutionising how data centres cool powerful, high-density hardware.”

The Types of Equinix Liquid Cooling

Equinix supports a range of liquid cooling technologies, including direct-to-chip and rear-door heat exchangers, adopting a vendor-neutral approach to accommodate customers’ preferred hardware providers.

The direct-to-chip method involves a cold plate sitting atop the chip inside the server, enabling technical cooling fluid to draw heat away efficiently. This method allows for installation in standard IT cabinets similar to legacy air-cooled equipment.

Rear-door heat exchangers use a cooling coil and fans to capture heat from air cooled IT equipment. They are mounted directly onto customer cabinets, enabling higher cooling loads to be managed compared to conventional cooling.

My Truong, SSIA Chairperson and Field CTO for Equinix, said: “Equinix’s technology and vendor-neutral approach to liquid cooling is a mechanism to remove the friction of deploying advanced liquid cooling solutions in enterprise data centres,” she said.

Liquid cooling a key component in Equinix’s development of the Open19 V2 specification. The goal of the Open19 project, which operates under the Linux Foundation, was to create an open standard that can fit any 19″ rack for server, storage, and networking. The project enabled digital leaders to use hardware from a diverse set of vendors efficiently and sustainably in any data centre environment.

Steve Walton, CEO of CoolIT Systems, and Erez Freibach, Co-founder and CEO of ZutaCore, also shared their views.

Walton noted the superiority of liquid cooling in handling next-generation chips and AI infrastructure.

“For next-generation chips and other AI infrastructure, traditional air-cooling approaches simply will not get the job done on their own. Liquid-cooling can offer better performance while saving energy and helping data centres operate more efficiently,” said Walton.

Freibach highlighted ZutaCore’s partnership with Equinix in developing waterless liquid cooling solutions, aiming towards a zero-emissions data industry.

“Effective cooling solutions are essential for data centres to keep up with the rapidly evolving world of computing. We believe that liquid cooling has a critical role to play in supporting the next wave of digital infrastructure,” said Freibach.

The advancement of liquid cooling represents another step in enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of data centres in the face of rapidly evolving computing demands, particularly in the AI sector.

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