Drop in the ocean? OVHcloud open sources schematics for water-cooled datacentres

Euro cloud company OVHcloud is taking part in the 2024 Open Compute Project (OCP) EMEA Regional Summit this month in Lisbon. 

Drawing upon (pun not necessarily intended) the organisation’s some 20 years of expertise in water cooling, OVHcloud has shared detailed specifications and designs for elements of cooling environments.

Through dedicated whitepapers, the group has open sourced its designs promoting efficiency in the datacentre space, specifically providing the following schematics: Manual Control Valve (MCV) and 3 Balls Flow Meter (here).

The MCV provides technicians with what is said to be a straightforward way to control fluid flow within the cooling system and an alternative to automated methods. It is easy to adjust and doesn’t require shutoff valves to be included during maintenance processes, because manual shutoff is assured. 

This improves the simplicity of the system as a whole, increasing operational efficiency.

“Innovation for freedom is what defines us at OVHcloud. We are thrilled to take this motto to new heights at the 2024 OCP EMEA Regional Summit, igniting conversations with our peers and contributing to various open-source projects.” said Miroslaw Klaba, R&D director OVHcloud.

 In terms of the latter development, flowmeters are an essential part of water-cooled datacentres. 

The flow of water onto components is directly related to the amount of cooling required, making flowmeters important in managing both energy and water consumption.

Organisations tend to install at least one per rack.

3 Balls Flow Meter

The 3 Balls Flow Meter uses three balls of different sizes along a tube to provide resistance to water flow. This then gives an analogue measurement of flow rate in l/minute and this design is both cheaper and easier to maintain than a digital flow meter. 

OVHcloud is also working on Open-Source firmware through OpenBMC to ensure proper deployment of updates and guarantee security when servers are commissioned or decommissioned. At the Open Compute Project EMEA Regional Summit, participants will get insights on OVHcloud’s work with OpenBMC.

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Data Management