Blade Servers Keep Their Cool - InformationWeek

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Hardware & Infrastructure
09:50 AM
Darrell Dunn
Darrell Dunn

Blade Servers Keep Their Cool

Egenera and Emerson's CoolFrame system improves performance without extra heat

Blade servers are generating a lot of heat--both in the market and in the data center. That has blade maker Egenera and cooling specialist Emerson Network Power collaborating to improve blade performance and address the heat problem.

The CoolFrame system integrates Emerson's Liebert XD cooling technology with Egenera's BladeFrame EX blade-server system, which was unveiled last week. CoolFrame provides a high-density blade-server system while generating virtually no extra heat, says Steve Madara, VP and general manager of Emerson's environmental business unit.

BCoolFrame can cut cooling costs by 23%.

BCoolFrame can cut cooling costs by 23%.
CoolFrame pumps refrigerant through piping around the BladeFrame EX to reduce the heat dissipation from as much as 20,000 watts to 1,500 watts without affecting server performance, Madara says. At full capacity, CoolFrame can cut data-center cooling costs by 23%.

Blade servers are the fastest-growing segment of the server market, in great part because of their ability to consolidate server sprawl in a data center by putting larger numbers of blades inside a chassis than is possible with conventional rack-mounted servers. But as the density increases, the amount of heat produced by the servers and processor cores also increases.

CoolFrame places the Liebert XD waterless cooling platform at the rack level, Madara says. Its cooling module connects to the back of the Egenera blade-server chassis, "allowing IT departments to fill their data centers with equipment without having to dismantle installed systems and without increasing the overall footprint," says Dan Busby, Egenera's director of product design.

The Egenera platform is designed without wiring and cabling in the rear of the chassis, simplifying the CoolFrame technology, Madara says. CoolFrame is scheduled for availability in the second quarter.

BladeFrame EX delivers twice the performance of Egenera's current servers at the same price, says Susan Davis, VP of marketing and product management. It's forward and backward compatible, she says, so existing and new blades work together.

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