Microsoft implements Liquid Boiling to cool down overheating data centers (Blog)

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Microsoft tests out Liquid Boiling

Microsoft becomes the first cloud provider to run two-phase immersion Liquid Boiling cooling in a productive environment. Microsoft published this news with a catchy title on their News website.

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Microsoft Employees’ Email Communications forced Microsoft to boil liquid inside a steel holding tank with servers in a Datacenter.

The liquid, however, is set to boil at 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) and is entirely harmless to the electronic equipment. The boiling was done to remove the extra heat generated from the labouring computer processors and work flawlessly without failure.

Interesting Thing to Know: The Liquid boiling into vapour again becomes condensed through a condenser and rains back to the servers, making them more relaxed.

The Law behind the Phenomenon of Liquid Boiling

The Co-Founder of Intel, Gordon Moore, first observed this trend of liquid boiling in 1965. Back then, this was the hottest trend that continued for decades. The law has been called Moore’s law after him.

Now, this law is being implemented again at data centre levels through Liquid Boiling.

Moore’s Law refers to Moore’s perception that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, though the computers’ cost becomes half. Moore’s Law tells that you can expect the speed and capability of your computers to increase every year, and you will pay less for them. Another tenet of Moore’s Law states that this growth is exponential.

According to this law of liquid boiling, the energy loss of data centres must be minimized. When labouring processors create so much temperature, a big energy loss happens. To reduce this energy loss, Microsoft engineered the liquid boiling technique. After cooling the data centre and processors, all the machines run smoothly, with their full power and strength. As a result, system loss becomes low and processors can perform with their maximum ability.

The Inspiration behind Liquid Boiling

You may hear about cryptocurrency. All the calculations, data, statistics, and necessary information are processed through cryptocurrency mining. Some users also earn money by mining cryptocurrency. This mining process consumes a big amount of energy. Professional cryptocurrency miners need to increase the power of their machines where they mine and earn money.

Professional cryptocurrency miners have been practising the technique that has been mentioned above, to cool down their digital currency transaction logging transistors. The consistent practice of this technique by the miners motivated the Microsoft Teams to investigate the issue further and improve the technology to use it in their data centres.

Improved Sustainability of the Infrastructures

Microsoft notes that through liquid cooling, the servers would become more efficient and more sustainable as there would be no more wastage and every single piece of IT instruments will be well utilized. The energy required is a mere fraction of Air Cooling, making Liquid Cooling a more cost-efficient method.

Microsoft initially relies on air-based cooling systems in order to keep the running processor’s temperature down in its data centres to a manageable level. According to Microsoft, heat transfer in liquids is “orders of magnitude more efficient than air.”

There are more other benefits of this cooling technique besides efficient heat transfer. The system removes humidity and oxygen from the data centre environment, corrosion declines substantially, leading to fewer mechanical failures in the system. From Project Natick, which was an experimental undersea data centre, Microsoft first discovered this cooling system.

Last Words

Microsoft is just testing these features, but they are very interested in seeing how things work out. They already have a tank out there running workloads in dense data centres.

This company is testing its experiments with other liquid-based cooling technologies too. These experiments include something called ‘cold-plates’, that use tubing filled with a liquid refrigerant. Let’s hope that it turns out to be the best for us.

Source: To cool datacenter servers, Microsoft turns to boil liquid

Till then, keep cooling yourself!

Md Ashfak Faysal

Md Ashfak Faysal

I only search for one keyword - 'Tech'.

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