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BT to trial liquid cooling solutions

Image: Adobe Stock / PX Media

BT Group is set to trial a range of liquid cooling technologies in an effort to improve energy consumption and efficiency metrics across its networks and IT infrastructure.

The company currently utilises air-based cooling systems across its operations, but as network capacity and demands increase, BT is exploring alternative cooling technologies.

The telco will first trial precision-liquid-cooled network switches, using a solution provided by Iceotope and Juniper Networks QFX Series Switches.

As well as network switches, BT will also be testing the full immersion of servers in an immersion tank with Immersion4, the liquid cooling of networking equipment cold plates in a cooling enclosure with Nexalus, as well as working alongside Airsys to test cooling via sprayed-on partial immersion of data centre equipment.

BT has said it could eventually deploy several different cooling solutions across its estate, depending on location and operational requirements, with the trials establishing which solutions will be optimal for each scenario.

Immersion cooling could provide numerous benefits for BT, including a 40-50% reduction in the power needed to cool systems compared to air cooling, as well as reduced material usage, lowering carbon footprint.

“As the UK’s largest provider of fixed-line broadband and mobile services in the UK, it isn’t a surprise that over 90% of our overall energy consumption – and nearly 95% of our electricity – comes from our networks,” said Maria Cuevas, Networks Research Director at BT Group.

“In a world of advancing technology and growing data demands, it’s critical that we continue to innovate for energy efficiency solutions. Liquid cooling for network and IT infrastructure is one part of a much bigger jigsaw but is an area we’re very excited to explore with our technology partners.”

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