[Beowulf] Servers Too Hot? Intel Recommends a Luxurious Oil Bath

Prentice Bisbal prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu
Tue Sep 4 10:34:48 PDT 2012

On 09/03/2012 08:04 PM, Christopher Samuel wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On 03/09/12 23:15, Douglas Eadline wrote:
>> There was a previous discussion here. Curious to see Intel's
>> interest in this tech. I assumed it is mostly used for edge cases.
> It's going to cost a heap to cool an Exascale system, perhaps then the
> overhead of making bespoke racks for these things will make some sense.
> But even then it'll take a lot of clever engineering to avoid the
> issues that Jim mentioned; the capillary action of oil through
> insulated wires hadn't occurred to me - that could be very messy!
And let's not forget the weight of all that oil. Even a dense 1U server 
or server blade is still mostly air by volume (I'm guestimating here). 
Replacing that air with a relatively dense liquid is going to put quite 
the load on the server room floor. I doubt any existing raised server 
room floor could support that wait.

Also not that the racks are horizontal, not vertical. You're giving up a 
a lot of usable volume by switching to horizontal racks. I'm pretty sure 
you can't stack those oil-filled tubs on top of one another.


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