Aquarius™ Water Cooled Computing Solutions

Aquarius Technical Data

Until recently, advances in server hardware and performance were the main concern of the data center operators; but now, escalating power and hardware densities and dramatically improved cooling requirements are becoming the central focus.

Today, as server numbers multiply and power usage continues to spiral upward, liquid cooling returns as the most efficient cooling solution, allowing for high-density server racks and improved data center PUE – a winning combination!

Forced air-cooling has limitations and the industry is moving toward warm water cooling to tap next-generation server technologies while lowering power usage.


The Future Is Warm Water Cooling.
Aquarius’ fixed cold plate warm water cooling is an effective solution, combining efficient, dense, reliable, and easy-to-use server cooling with the industry’s best TCO and ROI.

Aquila’s Aquarius systems are an all-American technology solution, crafted and assembled in New Mexico, U.S.A.

Our Dual Processor Intel® Xeon® Aquarius server systems offer higher performance, higher reliability, higher density, and the Industry’s best efficiency. With overall efficiency in the 95% range for your server resources, adopting Aquarius, liquid-cooled computing will markedly enhance your data center’s PUE, while drastically reducing operating expenses.

Aquarius is the first ever fixed cold plate liquid-cooled Open Compute Platform (OCP) inspired rack. In Aquarius, Aquila has created a rack system design that is visually familiar but addresses more than just energy efficiency, including: extreme density without trade-offs, enhanced reliability and robustness, near silent operation, and unparalleled ease of use.

Aquarius was developed in partnership with Clustered Systems Company. Clustered is an established leader in solving the difficult infrastructure problems that are associated with deploying large high-performance, high-density compute systems. They won the CEC/OE-sponsored “Chill Off 2,”and delivered a second-generation ExaBlade system of 128 servers and 2,048 cores to SLAC, which achieved over two million hours of failure-free operation. In 2015, Clustered entered into a technology agreement with Aquila to develop and deliver a third-generation OCP-inspired liquid-cooled rack.


Aquarius derives its name from the latest innovations in energy-efficient warm water liquid cooling. Powered by the latest Intel® Xeon® E5-2600V4 Broadwell CPUs, the Aquarius compute platform greatly enhances productivity and performance. And, as with any Aquila product, Aquarius employs security safeguards to protect your compute resource from outside encroachment and infiltration.

The Aquarius warm water-cooled computing solution is built from the ground up to be the most reliable and economic solution for hyperconverged and HPC computing applications and can save nearly 50% on your data center’s overall power envelope.

Aquarius can save as much as 50% on your overall Server energy consumption when compared to forced-air cooling. This means complete compliance under upcoming energy usage restrictions and mandates and an exponential savings in operating costs. And, as with any Aquila product, Aquarius uses advanced safeguards to mitigate threat from outside encroachment and infiltration.

In a large data center or HPC facility, the compute servers account for 90% of the overall energy budget. The Aquarius compute rack can accommodate up to 108 S2600KP Intel® Xeon® Dual Processor servers. One Aquarius rack can take the place of as many as eight 12 kW air-cooled server racks, eliminating as much as 90% of the forced air-cooling your data center will require. The significant impact on Capex, Opex, and TCO will realize a near-immediate positive impact on the bottom-line cost of your data center’s operation.

Aquarius is the greenest advanced cooling solution available.

The traditional method of using chilled forced air to cool computer resources has reached the limit of its effectiveness. Employing Chillers, Economizers, CRAC and CRAH techniques are no longer able to keep up with the heat generated by today’s dual and quad 135+ W CPU server systems without employing extraordinary measures. CIOs are under pressure to increase resources, while decreasing the cost of running these resources; and, the forced air conditioned infrastructure has been economized as far as it can be. Using free-air methods can induce other issues to manifest. What can be done?

Aquila Aquarius is purpose-built from the ground up to provide:

1) Most efficient cooling available
2) Elimination of electromechanical parts prone to fail
3) Extreme server density
4) Extreme reliability and enhanced robustness
5) Easy to use
6) Easy to service
7) Zero-noise operation
8) The best overall TCO

Liquid cooling is the best solution for server heat removal because of its unmatched thermal performance. Liquid cooling done correctly is an efficient solution that allows successful heat removal from all critical components in modern-day computing with zero-noise pollution. Water allows for inexpensive and dense, low-profile cooling solutions, thus allowing five or more times the compute power in the same cubic footprint. The immediate effect of liquid cooling the components is uniformly cooler operating temperatures, which further increases reliability and long-term robustness of the compute servers. Additionally, the overclocking potential of the CPU is unlocked, and the additional heat is easily tamed, assuring stable operation with the same zero-noise conditions.

Air-cooling Is Yesterday’s News.
Air-cooling servers is fast becoming unsustainable. Solutions to high energy consumption and efficient use of space are being sought out by data center operators. Liquid cooling holds the key to sustainable, robust and economic data center operations in this time of exponential data growth. Liquid-cooled servers will rapidly become the standard for public and private sector data centers and HPC applications because of their lower energy operating costs and significantly lower real estate needs (almost 1/5 of the required space).

Chillers, Economizers, CRAC, and CRAH technologies are straining to keep up with the heat generated by today’s hottest CPU Server systems. CIOs are under pressure to increase resources, while decreasing the cost of running these resources, and the forced air conditioned infrastructure has been economized as far possible.

Aquarius eliminates additional expenses associated with HVAC-based forced air-cooling. Warm water-cooled data centers are cheaper to build, easier to secure, and much less costly to operate. Warm water cooling is particularly attractive, and Aquarius has addressed the full scope of warm water cooling’s benefits. That is, many vendors have addressed only energy efficiency, but not the ease-of-use, density, efficiency, and reliability. Most solutions still employ electromechanical parts prone to failure (i.e., fans, power supplies), all of which contribute to reduced overall reliability, especially at scale.

Energy costs are now paramount in decision-making when building a new data center. OpEx costs can only be reduced if the price of power and cooling a data center are reduced. Aquarius liquid cooling allows more compute in a smaller footprint with lower cooling cost.

Aquarius Sets New Standards in Energy Efficiency and Cost of Operations.
The Aquarius design is an innovative departure from other nonimmersion liquid-cooled solutions that use liquid-cooled heat sinks. The Aquarius manifold and fixed cold plate design eliminates the possibility of leakage during compute servicing, as there are no plastic tubes or quick disconnects above or near the servers. The fixed cold plate and robust manifold design uses no dissimilar metals, eliminating the potential for ASHRAE water contamination.

The advanced water-cooled rack platform provides several competitive advantages:

• A near 50% energy savings on the overall server power envelope, allowing for the additional cost of the rack to be recovered within the first year of power savings

• A near zero failure rate due to providing thermal stability at semiconductor thermal junctions. This compares with expected failure rates of forced air-cooled servers at 4-8%

• A five-to-ten-times increase in server density, with up to two 2.5” HD or SSD drives at each node, supporting fully virtualized storage applications and hybridized storage approaches equally as well

• Up to an additional 5% increase in efficiency and reliability achievement by eliminating all fans and individual power supplies, and removing two of the most frequent points of failure, especially at scale

The Aquarius solution represents an order of magnitude improvement over even the most efficient forced air-cooled rack systems:

• Capable of cooling over 100 kW per rack, compared to the nearest competitive solution, at 40-50 kW per rack (also a more costly solution)

• Provides the densest solution available at 108 servers, compared to the nearest competitive solution, at 96 servers

• Offers 95% or better cooling efficiency by eliminating the need for cooling fans and inefficient individual server power supplies and by cooling all server components over 2 W (not just the CPUs and RAM).

Aquarius is by far the best-in-class liquid-cooled server, outperforming all competitors in density, efficiency, reliability, and TCO.

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