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December 30, 2023

3 Main Challenges Faced by Cloud and Colocation Datacenters 

Can immersion cooling solve the issues of today?

Cloud and colocation datacenter challenges

The world of cloud and colocation datacenters is one that always needs to be ready to embrace emerging trends and innovations, all while still catering to the evolving needs of end customers. In this blog post, we’ll round up the 3 main challenges facing cloud and colocation datacenters today and explore how immersion cooling can overcome these obstacles.  

Hardware as the Guide 

Hardware, and all the innovations and accompanying surges in power density that come along with it, are what guide how datacenters are being built at the moment. And, of course, we have cloud and colocation data center providers right in the middle of it entrusted to provide the best solution for their customers’ dynamic needs. 

While AI has been the topic on everyone’s tongue this year, social media presents an equally demanding challenge. The average person globally spends about 145 minutes on social media everyday – the equivalent of 5.7 years if one was to maintain this over an average life span of 73 years (Backlinko). To meet this astonishing demand, chipmakers are concentrating more power density, which then trickles down to IT system builders and customers making the vital decision of selecting the right components to fit these thermal specifications. The new equipment and larger amount of space required to meet this demand is just one part of the equation; AI and social media need data centres equipped for liquid cooling (Datacenter Dynamics).

Our latest innovation to come from our collaboration with Intel sets us well on our way to cooling 1000W TDP. 

Building for Scalability 

It’s a given that datacenters need to be adaptable to current innovations and be able to accommodate workloads and demands that increase by the day. However, the landscape’s stability has been disrupted by a rapid surge in IT power density, challenging conventional assumptions and introducing an element of unpredictability.

Projections indicate that data centre demand will go up from 17GW in 2022 to 35GW by 2023 (McKinsey). This means colocation service providers need to be designing for future-proof solutions. For greenfield builds, immersion cooling ensures the reliability and longevity of the equipment. It offers a diverse array of options to optimize resource utilization, providing a strategic advantage in managing escalating workloads and ever-changing demands. From a brownfield perspective where factilities need to be retrofitted, immersion cooling becomes a transformative tool for leveraging existing infrastructure effectively. This approach not only facilitates the scaling of IT capacity but also effectively manages the surge in workloads, optimizing power utilization in the process.

Sticking to Sustainability Regulations  

 What was once more of an afterthought is now playing a part in laying the groundwork, especially with the strict regulations on their way for 2024.

Under the new European Energy Efficiency Directive, owners and operators of datacenters with 500kW or more of installed IT capacity need to report their 2023 energy performance by May, 2024; this encompasses total data stored and processed, energy consumption, power usage, temperature set points, waste heat utilization, and more (Energy Efficiency Directive) . Not just a call for more responsible management of energy, but also to encourage the switch to both multiple and renewable energy sources e.g. combining solar with fossil fuels for a more reliable solution (Datacenter Dynamics). The Energy Efficiency Directive will also create more of a push for heat reuse, something that has flown under the radar for quite some time despite its numerous benefits and applications such as air heating systems and hot water applications.

How Immersion Can Help Cloud and Colocation Datacenters 

At Submer, we’re passionate about finding ways to advance the datacenter industry as a whole, all while minimizing the impact it has on the planet. We believe that immersion cooling is the only way to accommodate increasing IT power density, ensure future-proof and scalable solutions, and meet sustainability standards.