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Liquid Cooling Can Prevent A Data Center Melt Down

There may be a liquid-cooled computer in your data-center's future.

The way things are going now, it won't be long before heat generated in the data center starts to become a larger and larger problem.

"Heat," an old friend used to say, when speaking of electronic equipment, "is the enemy." And that's true because electronic components are designed to operate inside a given temperature range, as are hard-disk drives. Get outside that temperature range, and things start to go haywire. Electronic components will begin to carry too much current, and may go into a condition called thermal overload. If that happens, you'll know it. With today's servers, you'll get an entry in the error log, and you'll get a server that starts operating more slowly than it should. When you check the server log, you can see what happened.

"If there is a heat problem, " says David Schaller, technical marketing program manager for Rittal Corp., Springfield, Ohio, "you'll know it because you start getting servers that have gone into thermal overload."

If, or when, that happens, you'll be forced to handle the problem somehow. The solutions range, Schaller says, from things as simple as moving equipment around, to redirecting the airflow under the raised floor, to installing liquid-cooling systems to get rid of those hot spots.

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