How and Why HP is Re-investing Rack Servers
When HP first started building servers well over a decade ago, it created what is known as BladeSystem architecture. This form of architecture had a number of advantages and was ideal for its time; however, changes in modern technology have rendered it less than practical for future use. Many companies, in particular those that offer some form of cloud service, need awesome HP racks that can offer a very high level of cooling. What is more, the racks in question must be able to cool servers in an efficient manner, as it now costs more to keep servers cool than it does to power them.
HP is releasing a new rack model that is sure to catch the interest of a wide range of companies. This model, currently known as Apollo, optimizes power and cooling components to ensure reduced power usage. What is more, the system also moves processing power and storage to separate modules for increased efficiency.
What Makes the Difference?
Unlike other rack builder companies, HP has opted to use water at its source of cooling. While this is practical in some ways (after all, a glass of water has more cooling power than an entire roomful of air), the fact that water and electricity do not jive well has led to nearly all of HP’s competitors abandoning efforts to build a water-based rack cooling system.
HP, however, has managed to create a water cooling system for its rack servers that is not only easy to deploy but fully safe. The technology, which is best described as “dry disconnect”, essentially allows the water cooling to take place in the rack center, where it is most effective in keeping servers at an even temperature. HP’s Apollo servers are built using heat pipes rather than heat sinks; these pipes are what move heat towards the cool end of the system to keep servers from overheating.
The new Apollo system has yet to take the market by storm; even so, it clearly has much to offer. In time, it is quite possible that it will completely revolutionize the way that rack servers are built and run.