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May 31, 2024

Datacenter Servers: Compatibility with Immersion Cooling 

Getting servers immersion-ready

Everything you need to know about datacenter servers and immersion cooling.

We know that datacenter servers are the pride and joy of such facilities – so perhaps dunking them in fluid might be a bit of a daunting prospect. To put your mind at ease, together with Ecosystem Tech Lead & OCP Lead Oriol Chavanel, we’ll explore the key characteristics of immersion-cooled servers vs air-cooled ones, the main benefits of our technology for your server systems, and the immersion-ready options on the market. 

Air Server vs Immersion Cooling Server: Main Differences

The main differences between air-cooled servers and immersion-cooled servers are the materials used, the positioning of the components, and their weight.

Immersion cooling servers are intended to adopt the highest possible density of components, while simultaneously facilitating the fluid convection from bottom to the top for an improved cooling experience. As unnecessary parts are removed in an immersion environment, these servers are a lot lighter.

The ideal scenario for immersion is, of course, with immersion-designed servers, which offer advantages in density and thermal efficiency. However, retrofitting air-cooled designs is still an possible, since all that’s required is modifying basics such as the Thermal Interface Material (TIM) pastes, stopping or removing fans, upgrading cable rubbers and silicones, and applying label conformal coating. At Submer, we’ve compiled a material compatibility list that works for most single-phase fluids based on hydrocarbon oils (PAO) and we’re expanding this list with the OCP Community.

How Does the Fluid Affect the Servers?

In the case of single-phase immersion cooling, the fluid becomes the new environment. This has numerous advantages, including a stable thermal environment for all components – which is especially relevant nowadays seeing as TDP is increasing dramatically every year across PSUs, memory disks, etc. It is significantly more efficient for controling and predicting how it affects components at a certain temperatures, meaning that we can build trustful data from aging tests to define safe warranty periods for every component manufacturer.

Immersion Cooling on Server Systems: 3 Main Benefits 

The benefits of our technology for your server systems include: 

  • High density of components: Immersion cooling provides improved performance per rack space.
  • Longer lifespan of the IT Hardware: No dust, no vibrations, and a stable thermal environment for all submerged components subsequently prolongs their lifespan.
  • Significant reduction of non-required materials for server manufacturing: Less weight, less costs, less complexity!

Immersion-Ready Datacenter Servers on the Market 

Submer has exponentially increased its collaboration with various product providers, from fuses and power elements to IT server components like storage, memory, and chips, to help them adopt immersion cooling and dispel myths with testing data.

Brands with an immersion cooling roadmap include:

The Servers Are Immersion-Ready… Are You? 

With immersion cooling offering higher density of components, longer IT Hardware lifespan and reduced material requirements for server manufacturing, you can achieve unprecedented efficiency and cost savings.

At Submer, we’re passionate about the savings our technology provides in terms of energy, water, and costs and our experts are on hand to guide you through your selection of datacenter servers for immersion cooling.