Liquid Cooling Deployments to Power Enterprise AI Workloads


Equinix has announced plans to expand support for advanced liquid cooling technologies—like direct-to-chip—to more than 100 of its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres in more than 45 metros around the world, including Sydney and Melbourne. This builds on Equinix’s existing offering that supports liquid-to-air cooling, through in-rack heat exchangers, at nearly every IBX today.

This expansion will enable more businesses to use the most performant cooling technologies for the powerful, high-density hardware that supports compute-intensive workloads like artificial intelligence (AI).

“We have seen an increase in demand for data-intensive and high-compute applications like AI,” said Sean Graham, Research Director, Cloud to Edge Datacentre Trends at IDC. “The hardware required to run these new applications is pushing up densities inside data centres and can no longer be efficiently cooled by traditional techniques. We are seeing a growing demand for liquid-cooled solutions from enterprises, and it is essential that data centre providers, like Equinix, can support this next generation of cooling solutions.”

This strategic deployment complements the Australian Government’s 2021 Digital Economy Strategy, which encourages the adoption and creation of trusted digital technology, and understand the important role of emerging technologies to position Australia at the forefront of technology development and use.

With commercialised support of direct-to-chip liquid cooling in more than 45 metros—including Sydney, Melbourne, London, Silicon Valley, Singapore, and Washington D.C.—customers can deploy advanced liquid cooling solutions against mission-critical needs in the markets that matter most to them. Equinix provides direct access to the ecosystem of partners and providers of Platform Equinix®. By continuing this approach Equinix is committed to empowering digital leaders with the ability to evolve their next-generation liquid-cooled designs.

“Liquid cooling is revolutionising how data centres cool powerful, high-density hardware that supports emerging technologies, and Equinix is at the heart of that innovation,” said Tiffany Osias, Vice President of Global Colocation, Equinix.

“We have been helping businesses with significant liquid-cooled deployments across a range of deployment sizes and densities for years. Equinix has the experience and expertise to help organisations innovate data centre capacity to support the complex, modern IT deployments that applications like AI require.”

Equinix supports major liquid cooling technologies, including direct-to-chip and rear-door heat exchangers so that customers can take advantage of the most efficient solutions. Additionally, Equinix is offering a vendor-neutral approach to enable customers to use their preferred hardware provider in their deployments.

Direct-to-chip is a unique approach that involves a cold plate sitting on top of the chip inside the server. The cold plate is enabled with liquid supply and return channels, allowing technical cooling fluid to run through the plate, drawing heat away from the chip. This allows direct-to-chip-enabled servers to be installed in a standard IT cabinet just like legacy air-cooled equipment, even while being cooled in an innovative way. Rear-door heat exchangers use a cooling coil and fans to capture heat from air cooled IT equipment. They are mounted directly onto customer cabinets, so can manage higher cooling loads than conventional cooling.

“Liquid cooling was front and centre in our development of the Open19 V2 specification. The goal of the Open19 project, which operates under the Linux Foundation, was to create an open standard that can fit any 19” rack for server, storage, and networking. The project enables digital leaders to use hardware from a diverse set of vendors efficiently and sustainably in any data centre environment. Equinix’s technology and vendor neutral approach to liquid cooling is a mechanism to remove the friction of deploying advanced liquid cooling solutions in enterprise data centres.” – My Truong, SSIA Chairperson and Field CTO for Equinix.

“For next-generation chips and other AI infrastructure, traditional air-cooling approaches simply will not get the job done on their own. Liquid-cooling can offer better performance while saving energy and helping data centres operate more efficiently. Equinix’s state-of-the-art data centre provide an ideal environment for customers to deploy cutting edge CoolIT Systems liquid-cooling technologies, ensuring optimal resiliency, energy efficiency, and reliability for mission-critical digital infrastructure.” – Steve Walton, CEO, CoolIT Systems Inc.

“Effective cooling solutions are essential for data centres to keep up with the rapidly evolving world of computing. We believe that liquid cooling has a critical role to play in supporting the next wave of digital infrastructure. ZutaCore has been partnering with Equinix at its Co-Innovation Facility and Equinix Metal deployments to help develop, operate, and test the next generation of liquid cooling solutions at scale. We’re excited to see Equinix expand the number of liquid cooling enabled data centres as we continue to optimise customer workloads with waterless liquid cooling to drive towards a zero-emissions data industry.” – Erez Freibach, Co-founder and CEO, ZutaCore.


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