The rise of machine learning is driving up power densities inside data centers of companies that deploy servers filled with GPUs and other types of accelerator processors. Well into the neighborhood of 30kW to 50kW per rack, these densities are driving some operators to turn to liquid instead of air for cooling.
While some data center operators use liquid cooling to make their facilities more efficient, most of the growth in adoption of these technologies is driven by the need to cool higher-density racks.
But the switch from air to liquid isn’t simple. Here are some of the biggest barriers to adoption of liquid cooling in data centers: