Case Study

6 min read

DataBank and Georgia Tech Progress with Purpose-Built Data Center in Tech Square

Project at a Glance

The DataBank ATL1 data center is not your average data center.

When Georgia Tech set out to create a high-performance computing center for their institution, they turned to DataBank to build a data center environment capable of meeting the performance needs of the center, and overcoming the inherent challenges that often accompany HPC initiatives.

DataBank’s ATL1 facility will be located in the new CODA building of Georgia Tech’s Technology Square, smack dab in the middle of the Atlanta’s tech hub, where academia meets innovation, research, and fortune enterprises. ATL1 will not only be different from any other DataBank facility, it will be will be one of the most advanced data centers in the country.

Midtown Atlanta Data Center The Midtown Atlanta Data Center is part of the CODA development, a 645,000 sqft mixed-use office complex, currently under construction in Georgia Tech’s Technology Square.

Right out of the gate, ATL1 will possess two things unique to any data center in the region:

1. Southern Crossroads (SoX)

SoX serves as the Southeast connector to National Lambda Rail (NLR), Internet2 and other major U.S as well as International research networks. It connects southern schools, including Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South & North Carolina. SoX is a special network fabric that privately interconnects many different schools and federal institutions.

2. The Georgia Tech Supercomputer

Georgia Tech was awarded $3.7 million from the National Science Foundation to cover 70% of the costs of a new, state-of-the-art high–performance computing resource for the CODA building’s data center, ATL1.The new HPC system will support data-driven research in astrophysics, computational
biology, health sciences, computational chemistry, materials and manufacturing, and more. It will also be used to research energy efficiency and performance of HPC systems themselves.

“ATL1 is an ecosystem. A social compute family where we’re bringing in any company that wants to be a part of it. Anyone who wants to witness a supercomputer and real innovation is welcome.”

– Brandon Peccoralo, General Manager at DataBank

<p>The Green Initiative and a New Generation of Data Center Cooling</p>
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The Green Initiative and a New Generation of Data Center Cooling

But, there’s something else that makes ATL1 quite different: 
its cooling technique.

For the past thirty years, the data center industry has largely relied upon the same cooling techniques and architectures and, with minor exceptions, cooling has not been a subject of great innovation.
In ATL1, DataBank, pushes the envelope with its new ColdLogik Rear Door cooling solution from USystems.

Data centers focus tremendous amounts of time seeking the most efficient use of power. The biggest factor in power consumption is one that data centers have little control over: a customers’ hardware. But the second biggest factor in power consumption is PUE – an industry-standard measurement of how efficiently a data center cools the waste energy coming off computers. This is an area data centers have lots of room to innovate and find improvements.

Traditionally, this has meant taking energy from the utility, and running AC units within the data center as efficiently as possible to cool the overall environment. When you sop and think about it, this approach is comically inefficient. You are basically taking the heat that is generated from consumption of energy (in the form of computers) and consuming even more energy to cool it (in the form of AC).

DataBank offers a full range of connectivity methods across the nation to achieve our customers goals. This includes a national IP transport service which provides inter-region and intra-metro connectivity. Our carrier neutral facilities offer robust interconnectivity and high- bandwith access to top-tier carriers. This results in a resilient communication environment across multiple DataBank sites

ColdLogik solution for ATL1 adds a unique approach.

Waste energy that comes out of a server in a cabinet is exchanged by heating naturally cold water that runs through a closed-loop system in each cabinet rear door. The water is heated, and then rejected out of the building as new naturally cold water is cycled back in to replace it keeping the cabinet continuously cool.

That system alone would represent a major innovation in data center cooling But, in our mission to continuously evolve the data center experience, DataBank took the implementation one step further.

In the typical data center environment, any heat removed with CRAC units is usually sent back to the central plant, exchanged for condenser water, and receded off the roof via typical heat rejection. Instead of wasting the heat, the ATL1 facility is actually sending it over to the CODA building’s high-rise boilers and allowing tenants to reuse and repurpose it to heat their offices in colder weather, thus further offsetting energy use.

Using USystem’s ColdLogik rear door coolers, DataBank and Georgia Tech are cooling 50 kW per enclosure, per rack, using 73-degree warm water. And this rear door cooling system can use that same capacity to cool up to 100 kW per rack with just minor changes in infrastructure.

  • Cooling 50 kW with 73 degrees, with the potential to double
  • 90% less energy consumption
  • 80% more real estate than traditional cooling

Cool, right?

Challenges and Solutions


Bulk faced the following challenges:

  • How to design a solution for a colocation customer when specific IT technology, density or rack configuration is not known.
  • How to cater for the current GPU trend requiring 40-50kW+ per rack, while also considering future tech upgrades that could scale to even higher densities including Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC).
  • Find a flexible solution that allows its customer the option to select and bring in their own racks of different sizes and manufacturers.
  • Maximise operational efficiency through optimised airflow and heat rejection.
  • Reduce time for white space fit out and customer deployment by pre-installing and testing all cooling components.


The ColdLogik solution:

  • Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of over 100 at maximum capacity.
  • Average 15% reclaimed power for Compute by comparison to traditional cooling.
  • Potential Cooling PUE available of 1.035 with RDC.
  • Over 50,000 trees worth of carbon saved per 1MW ColdLogik deployment.
  • Adaptive Intelligence that controls the whole room temperature.
  • Higher water temperatures reduce the need for mechanical cooling, whilst maintaining ASHRAE A1 temperatures.


Data Center Products 

that Exceed Expectations

Discover the High Performing Data Center products, including ColdLogik Rear Door Coolers – RDHx, ColdLogik InRow Cooler, ColdLogik & EDGE LX Plant.
Rear Door Heat Exchanger

CL21 Passive Rear Door Heat Exchanger

The CL21 Passive RDHx offers high-performance cooling at zero-operational cost.

ColdLogik CDU

Efficiency, reliability, and innovation define our CDU.
Server Cabinet

USpace - 4210 Cabinet

Cost-effective and versatile Rack, adapts to diverse applications, offering ease and flexibility.
InRow Coolers

CL80 600W InRow Cooler

Precision cooling solutions for aisle containment, ensuring optimal performance.
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Server Cabinet

USpace - 5210 Cabinet

High-density design with flexible configuration for evolving IT environments.
InRow Coolers

CL80 300W InRow Cooler

The highest cooling capacity available in a footprint of a chilled water InRow.


Data Center Solutions
that Exceed Expectations

Get in touch with us at USystems Ltd to join the journey towards more efficient and sustainable data centers. Our leading and innovative technologies are designed to help you use less energy and reduce your carbon footprint on a global scale. Contact us now to explore how we can work together for a greener future.
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