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

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Sep 4 21:28:12 PDT 2012

A notable, but non-obvious, hazard of large oil cooled systems (or oil
tanks, for that matter) is that you don't float in them. Fall into a tank
of water, and you're positively buoyant, so all you have to do is keep
your head above water.

Fall into a tank of oil with SG=0.8 and you sink like the proverbial
stone.  If by chance, you happen to be a champion water polo player in
your spare time and able to tread water very well, you might do ok for a
few minutes, if the oil isn't particularly viscous.

But as long as we're talking quarrys and such, what about the scheme of
building a big pit to fill full of ice during the winter, and melting it
during the summer. (assuming you are in a
less-than-wonderful-un-California-like climate where this would work.)

On 9/4/12 11:56 AM, "Douglas Eadline" <deadline at eadline.org> wrote:

>Of course those massive Zetta scale systems will live in huge
>multi-story oil tanks that have been placed in old quarrys,
>which provide bedrock support for the tank and a geothermal
>heat sink. The sysadmins must operate oil swimming robots and even don
>oil scuba suits to service hardware. Don't forget the Sterling engines
>using the heat from oil to return a bit of useful work to the system.

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