HPC Flows Into Hyperscale With Dell Triton
#Dell recently unveiled its datacenter liquid cooling technology under the codename of #Triton. Dell’s #ExtremeScale Infrastructure team originally designed and developed Triton as a proof of concept for #eBay, leveraging Dell’s existing rack-scale infrastructure. In addition to liquid-cooled cold plates that directly contact the CPUs, Triton is also designed with embedded liquid to air heat exchangers to cool the airborne heat of a large number of tightly packed and hot processor nodes using 80% of the cooling capacity of the heat exchangers. That leaves 20% of Triton’s cooling capacity as “overhead”. The overhead cooling capacity is then used to cool the warm air that has pulled heat from the conventionally air-cooled components – the “airborne heat load”. Dell’s Triton water cooling system uses a standard, ASHRAE spec, industrial water supply. No external filters and conditioning are required. Inflow water can be as warm as 38°C / 100°F, which produces an ambient air temperature of 45°C / 113°F – which is the maximum input air temperature allowed to operate the servers. If Dell were running the Intel Xeon E5 processors in this pilot at a normal thermal load (they are not, much more detail below), then inflow water temperature can be as high as 65°C / 149°F. The net effect is that Triton effectively neutralizes all of the heat produced by the server rack. In practical terms, a Triton server rack can recirculate air inside of an environmentally sealed box. All it needs is the input water to meet spec and ambient air temperature to be somewhat sane. If it’s not in a sealed box, then it can help cool adjacent equipment or at least not contribute any additional air-borne heat load to a room.