Motivair Cool News

June 7th, 2022

How In-Rack Manifolds Impact Your HPC System

Imagine traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a one lane road rather than a highway designed to handle a typical city’s capacity. The time it would take to go from Point A to Point B dramatically increases, making the journey longer, decreasing your efficiency, and increases the strain on your vehicle.

As you consider an end-to-end liquid cooling solution to leverage high-performance computing, you need to take great care in selecting and designing the proper in-rack manifold. Why? It’s one of the most important pieces of technology in an end-to-end liquid cooling ecosystem.

With an improperly designed in-rack manifold, much like a long drive on a one-lane road, you risk poor fluid distribution to your liquid cooling system that directly effects your overall sever performance.

When starting your end-to-end system, you need to know: the impact in-rack manifolds have on liquid cooling; which type of in-rack manifold is best for your application; and the importance of customization.

Often a critical but overlooked component in a direct liquid cooling system, an in-rack manifold is designed to distribute even amounts of fluid to each individual so you can maximize the output of your high-performance computing system.

It is a key enabling device in end-to-end liquid cooling. Without an in-rack manifold, you cannot have an efficient liquid cooling system.

Discovering the right type of in-rack manifold is a balance of cost, robustness, and application-specific needs.

Manifolds come in various lengths and port sizes. Depending on your application, you need to work with a vendor and understand the following:

  • How many servers are you deploying?
  • How many connections do you have?
  • What is the flow rate?
  • What are the different technical aspects you need to have?

Manifolds are key when it comes to the level of pressure drop and flow distribution in your liquid cooling system.

If you deploy an in-rack manifold that creates too high a pressure drop – which could be because of improper selection of quick connects, design features like supply-return connections, or incorrectly-sized bends in your manifold –– you will have greater pressure drop.

Liquid cooled systems must continuously circulate fluid, and if there is higher pressure drop that means your system pumps are working harder than they needs to. That pressure loss in the manifold is available pressure you are robbing of doing the real work of cooling.

Additionally, proper flow distribution ensures the right amount of fluid gets to every server in the rack. With an improperly designed manifold, uneven distributions of liquid in the manifold can cause your system to become unbalanced.

That means the customer needs to spend extra money on pumping power or acquiring additional technology to overcome a limitation of an improperly designed in-rack manifold.

It’s rare to have a one-size fits all solution when it comes to an in-rack manifold. While some standard manufacturers may only have a certain number of dedicated ports (12, 24, 36, etc.), they

may be selling you unnecessary extra technology, making you spend more on cooling and maintenance.

Most of the time, a custom solution is a better value for the customer than a standard model. That may drive cost, but that cost gains you very specific performance that differentiates your liquid-cooled system from others on the market.

This allows you to design a manifold for your specific cooling needs rather than working around a standard model in hopes of piecing together an end-to-end solution.

Motivair’s broad range of Thermal Management, Direct Liquid Cooling, and Data Center & IT Cooling technology provides mission critical businesses and innovation leaders reliable cooling technology helping shape our world.

About Motivair Corporation
Motivair enables industry leaders to push the boundaries of what’s possible by leveraging over 30 years of insights and innovations creating dependable mission critical cooling systems. Based in Buffalo, NY, Motivair creates, develops, and manufactures a portfolio of specialty chillers and high-density computer cooling systems that cool vital industries and propel the world’s most complex and advanced technologies. Its technology is featured in numerous Top500 supercomputers. For more information, visit

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