Digital Realty Adds Direct Liquid Cooling for High-Density Colocation in 170 Data Centers Globally

May 18, 2024
Digital Realty this week unveiled expanded high-density deployment support for liquid-to-chip cooling in service of AI and data-intensive applications.

On May 16, Digital Realty announced the availability of liquid-to-chip cooling technology as the next evolution in the company's ability to support high-density deployments. 

Last August, the company launched an Air-Assisted Liquid Cooling (AALC) offering, based on rack-located rear door heat exchangers. Offering support for densities up to 70 kW, that offering was initially made available in 28 markets across the North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific regions.

The new offering, which builds upon the company's standardized high-density colocation platform, introduces direct liquid cooling (DLC) technology for high-density colocation needs in 170 data centers globally, as stated in a press release.

Digital Realty said the new offering brings liquid directly to customers' infrastructure, allowing for greater versatility in meeting emerging AI demands. 

Combining RDHx with DLC

Key benefits of Digital Realty's upgraded high-density deployment support include the ability to leverage a wide range of mechanical solutions, such as rear door heat exchangers (RDHx) and DLC, enabling the efficient management of power densities ranging from 30 kW to above 150 kW per rack. 

The combination of RDHx with DLC topologies effectively doubles the power densities that can be supported, noted the operator, while empowering businesses to tackle the escalating demands of modern IT infrastructure, and accelerating the adoption of AI by enterprises, through private, cloud and hybrid solutions.

"We're proud to align with our customers in evolving their infrastructure to support this cutting-edge liquid-to-chip technology, enabling them to land and expand their deployments efficiently and redefine what's possible in the digital age," said Chris Sharp, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Realty.

Sharp went on, "With this cutting-edge liquid-to-chip cooling technology, we're not just setting a new standard for high-density deployment support - we're revolutionizing the digital infrastructure landscape."

Digital Realty contends its new DLC approach enables businesses to deploy high-density configurations within a shared environment, in close proximity to the cloud, as well as network and AI service providers. 

The company said DLC is also flexible in accommodating the distinct needs of individual setups, providing additional flexibility to customers.

As complement, Digital Realty's recently announced Private AI Exchange (AIPx) platform allows for new data exchange options in support of the new DLC-enabled solutions.

Forward into the Realm of AI

The company characterized the new offering as an innovative advancement which represents a significant leap forward in its ability to address evolving challenges in managing high-density workloads, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and data-intensive applications.

Sean Graham, IDC Research Director, Cloud to Edge Datacenter Trends, opined:

"Organizations are increasingly investing in generative AI and high-performance computing and need private, high-density environments. Digital Realty's HD Colocation offering is a strong response to the flourishing market need for high-density racks, and presents an ideal solution to significantly accelerate time-to-value for these organizations, while avoiding the need for lengthy and costly capital projects to build or retrofit new capacity."

"This offering aligns with IDC's colocation provider recommendations for the GenAI market," added Graham.

Digital Realty said the new DLC offering is designed to be both flexible and accessible. Deployment options are available in more than half of Digital Realty's data centers worldwide, with plans to expand support to additional sites and to leverage existing infrastructure to meet emerging AI requirements. 

Scott Tease, Vice President and General Manager of HPC and AI for Lenovo ISG, a Digital Realty stakeholder, registered his satisfaction with the new DLC capability thusly:

"The Lenovo-Digital Realty partnership forms a critical cornerstone of the hybrid AI vision, enabling organizations to harness the full potential of emerging technologies to deliver innovation faster. AI is revolutionizing nearly every aspect of every industry. By working with great partners like Digital Realty, we're helping enterprises of any size on their AI journeys."

As noted by Datacenter Dynamics, Digital Realty intially piloted liquid cooling technology at a number of its facilities globally, including its data centers in Paris and Singapore.

The long-awaited ascendance of liquid cooling technology, as previously observed in this space, has heated up competition between colocation data center providers; last December, Equinix announced the availability of direct liquid cooling options in its data centers.




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About the Author

Matt Vincent

A B2B technology journalist and editor with more than two decades of experience, Matt Vincent is Editor in Chief of Data Center Frontier.

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