Heightened awareness is fuelling demand for more efficient datacentres, according to two firms pioneering new technology in this area.
Pre-lockdown, CRN headed to Colt's London HQ to see the technique of liquid immersion cooling in action.
On hand to talk us through the technology - and discuss the need for more efficient datacentres - were Submer's Diarmuid Daltún and Chris Roberts, head of datacentre and cloud at Goonhilly Earth Station.
Goonhilly recently deployed a Submer unit at its datacentre in Cornwall similar to the one at Colt's HQ featured in the video.
Our visit to Colt was one of two case studies we planned to air as part of our Sustainability Summit earlier this summer, which was postponed due to COVID-19 (the other being with lifecycle services firm N2S).
We have released this footage now in order to continue the narrative around sustainability.
As Daltún explains in the video, liquid immersion cooling involves a dielectric, non-conductive fluid being actively circulated through the IT hardware to take away the heat.
'A distinct change in the market'
Some 55 per cent of the more than 300 UK IT decision makers CRN questioned recently ranked sustainability among their top three considerations when procuring technology solutions, and Daltún agreed that the case for more efficient datacentre technology is building.
"Having come from our commercial start in 2018 to where we are today in 2020, we've already noticed a distinct change in the market," he said.
"We are working together with people like Colt, Evocative and Digital Reality to make sure their customers have that option of a more sustainable way of deploying their hardware. Up to 20 to 25 per cent of the world's power is going to be used for ICT by the year 2025. I think that's something that is hitting home.
"Our thirst for data and our devices is something that is not likely to reduce and I think it's our collective responsibility to make sure it's done in a sustainable manner."
Datacentres are responsible for two per cent of global Co2 emissions but Roberts argued that they get an unfairly bad rap.
"What [datacentres are] doing is in some ways reducing the environmental impact by taking workloads out of what are often inefficient environments such as client server rooms and then centralising that within a datacentre - where we spend an awful lot of money on making it very efficient and looking at future proofing technologies," he said.
Daltún argued that liquid immersion cooling represents the future of the datacentre market.
"Any new deployment or any new expansion of any high-performance computing is going to be cooled in some way using liquid - whether it be direct to the chip cooling or liquid immersion cooling," he said.
"And I tend to look at direct to the chip cooling as like hybrid cars: it's getting there, but it's not the endgame."
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