Dell is getting into the water-cooled server business for hyperscalers with an offering called “Triton” that it developed for eBay.
Dell says it's keen on water cooling because it's cheap: data centres nearly always have a cooling tower that lower the temperature of water so it is sensible to put that cool water to good use. But most water-cooled rigs have secondary pumps and/or distribution units that further cool the water before sending it to a rack. Those pumps consume electricity and make heat, two things you want to do less of in a data centre
Plumbing the depths of the R&D capacity in its Extreme Scale Infrastructure department, Dell therefore figured out how to use cool water without the intermediary box.
The result is a rig that sees water flow straight from the cooling tower to a wall outlet, then through copper pipes that sit right on top of the CPU. Dell says its preferred pipes are pushed to 350PSI, several times their likely working load, and that there are moisture and drip detectors all over the servers and the military-grade piping used to bring chilled H2O to racks and CPUs.
eBay's apparently recorded a 70 per cent increase in queries per second with a Triton rig and the custom Xeon E5-2679 v4 cooked up to handle a cold copper pipe on its back. Dell reckons that's good news for others who like their CPUs fast and their data centres cool.