The idea of immersing servers in oil to keep them cool isn’t entirely new — passionate gamers have been housing their systems in vegetable oil for years. But it’s time to take notice of this trend when Intel starts singing its praises as a potentially revolutionary method for slashing the price of running a data center.
Most servers today follow design principles for optimal airflow, but “we could throw some of those rules out,” he said, and maybe build a better server. The obvious steps are eliminating anything to do with fans, sealing hard drives (or going to solid-state drives) and replacing any organic materials that might leech into the oil. A redesign of the heat sink probably would be in order, as would a rethinking of where things sit on the motherboard.