HP has developed a liquid-cooled supercomputer in a direct challenge to IBM and SGI, among others, as part of an effort to identify new revenue streams.
The IT giant today launched two new server products, the Apollo 6000 and 8000. The servers boast a modular design and promise improved energy efficiency and lower operational costs.
The water-cooled Apollo 8000 can stack 144 servers per rack, and is aimed at enterprises seeking a server solution in the high-end super computing market. The 6000 is air-cooled and can stack up to 160 low-end servers in one rack.
Water-cooled servers can offer a more power effective option than traditional fan-based cooling.
To avoid leakage that can create component damage, the cool water is circulated through the blades via copper pipes that include an internal vacuum. The warm water is then circulated out through a pipe system built into the data centre.
Water-cooled systems were de rigueur in IBM mainframes manufactured in the 90s, and were revisited by IBM when it launched its SuperMUC supercomputer in 2012.
Liquid cooling is also popular in gaming computers where water traveling in tubes draws heat away from graphics chips and processors.
HP did not respond to pricing and availability by time of publication.