IT service provider in Asia for cloud-based solutions and data centre services, OneAsia, has announced that it is launching an immersion cooling solution at its Hong Kong data centre starting this September.
The first of its kind in Hong Kong, the new solution is aiming to significantly reduces data centre energy consumption and provide more reliable performance. The technology will then expand to service to its other data centres in Greater China and East and Southeast Asia.
In recent years, advances in AI, IoT and machine learning, combined with increased computing power and performance requirements, have led to a higher server rack density – a particularly dire problem with Hong Kong’s land constraints. The result has been an upsurge in heat generated by traditional data centres, with cooling systems correspondingly consuming significantly more energy at greater cost.
By contrast, immersion cooling solutions are widely recognised for their reliability and energy and cost efficiency. They are also conveniently scalable to any size of data centre.
Immersion cooling – also known as direct liquid cooling – is an innovative cooling solution that brings significant advantages over traditional air-cooling techniques, especially when applied to high-density environments such as data centres. According to OneAsia, for facilities that feature extremely high-density racks (typically over 30 kW), air cooling simply is not sufficient to maintain the reliability of IT systems, no matter how new or optimised they may be. For such facilities (rack power requirements are reaching close to 20 kW in many facilities, and many organisations are looking to deploy racks with requirements of 50kW or more), liquid cooling is not a choice, but a necessity.
With immersion cooling, the rack is designed specifically so that servers are inserted vertically. An immersion tank houses the servers in a dielectric bath, and utilising a CDU, circulates cooling fluid to remove heat.
As well as scalability, immersion cooling systems also offer a quieter working environment. Other key benefits include improved reliability and performance, improved energy efficiency, sustainability, and maximised cost efficiency.
Mr Charles Lee, founder and chief executive officer of Legan Group (parent company of OneAsia), said: “The introduction of this immersion cooling solution demonstrates our dedication to providing the best colocation solutions that enable customers to meet the increasingly demanding heat dissipation and power requirements for IT infrastructure today. As the first in Hong Kong to provide this add-on service, it will allow our customers to achieve optimum energy efficiency in operation.”
Building-related activities account for some 90 per cent of Hong Kong’s total electricity consumption, which is significantly higher than a global average of 40 per cent. Meanwhile, four per cent of the total electricity consumption is used in the data centre segment, in which over 37 per cent of electricity consumption is used for air conditioning – a figure much higher than the average 25 per cnet for the commercial sector. These findings show air conditioning reduction – by introducing immersion cooling solutions, for example – to be a key step in actualising the Hong Kong Government goal of reducing energy intensity by 40 per cent by year 2025, and the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to well under 2°C (preferably to 1.5°C) compared to pre-industrial levels.