[Beowulf] oil immersion cooled blades

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Mar 14 08:22:24 PDT 2012


(translation courtesy Google Translate):

Server blades in oil

Hardcore Computer LSS 200

Photo: Boston The U.S. company has with the hardcore computer Submerged
Liquid server developed (LSS 200), a server blade in the format of immersion
cooling uses: The entire unit sits in a closed housing which oil flows. This
"Core Coolant" is according to the safety of a non-toxic and biodegradable
compound based on a synthetic wax. The advantages of this cooling method is
called Hardcore Computer eliminated including a more efficient cooling,
because the coolant can be for example of a data center transported directly
to heat exchangers, and going through cold air. Because no special rack
delivers warm air directly into the environment, it can also be operated in
locations without air conditioning.

The server manufacturer in Boston, the LSS 200 is added to its product line
and offers it in Germany. However, neither prices nor called Boston delivery,
and plugged in the server rack now slightly dusty Technology: In comparison
to the recently announced Xeon E5600 Xeon E5 falls off significantly. Also,
the data sheet (PDF file) of the CLS 200 with hardcore computer can open
questions. For example, detailed information is lacking on the power
supplies, the special chassis and to the oil-cooling equipment. The CLS 200
will also allow the use of a PCIe expansion card, such as a Tesla accelerator
or InfiniBand adapter card - if it works well both at the same time remains
uncertain. Finally, the question remains open on the disk, at least be
mentioned only SSDs in 2.5-inch format.

The entire board is surrounded by oil.  Picture: Hardcore Computer

In the United States sold the hardcore computer desktops and Reactor Reactor
X, and the detonator Workstation with Immersion cooling. Oil as a coolant has
a lower specific heat capacity than water, but cools better than air and
leaks caused by short circuits. When complete immersion of the coolant
reaches all the components, while in the water cooling individual heat sinks
are needed which do not reach all critical components of any assemblies.
Optimal cooling water can be exploited if the motherboard design optimized to
be. ( ciw ) 

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