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Equinix to Accelerate and Simplify Liquid Cooling Deployments to Power Enterprise AI Workloads
December 18, 2023 News Equinix liquid cooling


Equinix, Inc., the world’s digital infrastructure company®, 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 Johor, Malaysia. 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) and align with the nation’s recently announced New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030 as it accelerates economic complexity.

“We have seen an increase in demand for data-intensive and high-compute applications like AI,” said Sean Graham, Research Director, Cloud to Edge Datacenter Trends at IDC. “The hardware required to run these new applications is pushing up densities inside data centers 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 center providers, like Equinix, can support this next generation of cooling solutions.”

Building the Digital Economy

This strategic deployment will complement Malaysia’s efforts to encourage both local and foreign investments into the region, and more specifically, aid in the building of its AI- and 5G-leveraged digital economy that is rapidly growing.

With commercialised support of direct-to-chip liquid cooling in more than 45 metros—including Johor, Singapore, London, Silicon Valley, 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 at 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 center capacity to support the complex, modern IT deployments that applications like AI require.”

Support for Major Liquid Cooling Technologies

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 are able to 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 centers,” said My Truong, SSIA Chairperson and Field CTO at 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 centers operate more efficiently. Equinix’s state-of-the-art data centres 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 at CoolIT Systems Inc.