Data centres are famous for being very noisy, surprisingly noisy in fact. If you have ever visited one or often work with data centre infrastructure, you are very familiar with how unpleasantly loud they can be.
Why typical data centre infrastructure noise is above average
The government sets workplace standards for noise and doesn’t require action until workers are exposed to average noise levels of 85 dB or greater during an eight-hour day.
Where does the sound in data centres come from? The servers themselves generate noise coming from the high velocity fans, but the highest levels come from the HVAC equipment (air conditioners) from the fans, condensers, compressors and evaporators.
Some efforts can be made to lower this noise in a reactive way by installing sound-deadening acoustic tiles on the ceiling and data centre’s walls. However, data centres today (small and large), are extremely noisy environments
The silent data centre is possible – achieve it with liquid cooling
What if all of the server fan noise and all the noise emanating from the cooling equipment went away?
The data centre would be virtually silent! Is that possible? It is possible by going with liquid cooling servers.
Liquid cooling servers do not have fans and make zero noise. There are two different types – emersion and direct to chip (sometimes called cold plate).
Emersion technology floods the server with a liquid designed to collect and dissipate heat. This liquid circulates around the server and heat is rejected to a heat exchanger usually on the back of the server.
With direct to chip, fluid (usually water) is sprayed on the plate on the back of the micro pressor in the server. Both of these are dependent on a cold-water supply from outside the building. This cold-water supply also is silent inside the data centre. Plus, all of those noisy fans, condensers, compressors and evaporators go away.
There you have it, technology advancements are eliminating unpleasant sounds that you hear every day and now we can have silent data centres with liquid cooling – a world without noise.