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Oil Soaked Servers Coming Soon

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the yeah-good-luck-with-that dept.

Hardware Hacking 321

grease_boy writes "A UK company will start selling server racks submerged in oil baths within a year. Very-PC is working on prototypes and says that because oil transfers heat more efficiently, power usage can be cut by fifty percent."

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Heh (4, Funny)

peterprior (319967) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687819)

Bring a whole new meaning to Oil in a rack...... geddit..

*grabs coat*

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18687935)

This has been done before... []

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18687985)

Sounds like these new servers would be solid as a rock. (shamelessly stolen from Arrested Development)

Re:Heh (0, Offtopic)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688157)

If I had any +funny mod points this week, you'd have got them. :-)

Re:Heh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688405)


Thank the Maker! (0)

megacia (534566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688419)

these oil baths will feel so good.

Re:Heh (3, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688449)

Does this oiled up rack run on 36 double D batteries?

Re:Heh (2, Funny)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688563)

Ah, the Oily Boid gets the Woim!

Hot cha cha cha cha

But how do they taste? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18687825)

I find most fried foods taste the same. Will computers follow this trend?

Oil Soaked Servers Coming Soon? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18687831)

Oil Soaked Servers Coming Soon

Next up on GeekPornTV, mud wrestling Servers!

Interesting (5, Funny)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687835)

That sounds like a step forward. At least, until you consider that anyone working on them would get coated in oil... and frankly, server admins coated in oil are really something nobody wants to see.

Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

SNR monkey (1021747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687947)

There really needs to be a "-1 Disgusting" mod for posts like yours. It made me laugh initially, but then I shuddered when the mental image hit. I'm going to try not to think about that for the rest of the day. Or any other day for that matter.

Re:Interesting (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687997)

Thanks a lot! Now I have to burn that image out of my mind! Gahhh!

Depends on the admin (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688011)

I, for one, would definitly start lobbying for more female tech workers here!

Re:Depends on the admin (2, Interesting)

normuser (1079315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688073)

imagine a beowulf cluster of these.

I'm a server admin, and I bet you'd like to see ME (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688589)

...covered in oil. Some server admins are cute 25 year old women who work out every day!

The captcha word for me this time is "fondling". How strangely appropriate.

Pass the brain bleach! (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688613)


You just HAD to paint that picture, didn't you?

Hurrah! (2, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687863)

This is fantastic! I can't see a single downside to increasing the demand for machine oil in this modern world, nosirree..

Re:Hurrah! (1)

Arkaic (784460) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687945)

I know. Seems like it would do more harm than good in some ways.


"I don't know why oil is being suggested for computer cooling instead of accepted dielectric fluids," says Garimella, who is not familiar with Very-PCs plans. "The idea itself seems the same as using dielectric fluids and the latter are clean, non-toxic and ozone-friendly."

Re:Hurrah! (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688045)

Oil IS an accepted dielectric fluid! Highly refined mineral oils are widely used for cooling and insulating electrical equipment (like the transformer that feeds power to your house), and relatively cheap, even given current petroleum prices.

Specialty fluids like Fluorinert are less messy when you need to work on the submerged parts, but that stuff is EXPENSIVE. How about over $300 per LITER? []

Re:Hurrah! (4, Interesting)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688105)

Exactly, the website and business proposal seem very amateurish. They actually tried using motor oil before realising that by some strange, arcane and entirely unpredictable process it correded PCBs? Am I being too presumptive in assuming that these people know very, very little about electronics?

Why on earth they didn't at least think to use highly-refined mineral oil like transformer oil is beyond me. I mean, filling a server with motor oil? Are you kidding me?

Someone saw the Tom's Hardware cooking-oil-cooled-PC experiment that was published a while back, and saw an opportunity to make some money. They didn't realise that Tom's Hardware used oil because it was headline-grabbing, cheap, easy to purchase and --oh yeah-- wasn't being used to cool a server that had to be stable and reliable. That doesn't mean it's the best choice of coolant.

Hell, you could do it with purified water if you wanted to, but your uptimes might take a hit.

Re:Hurrah! (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688473)

That statement, together with VeryPC's own statement that they did intial prototyping with normal oil but realized it could corode the systems makes me somewhat... "doubtful" as to their ability to create stable servers.

Re:Hurrah! (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688543)

Fluorinert [] , which is what is used for supercomputers, costs something like $3000 a gallon. Perhaps Garimella should consider the implications of that for a company wanting promoting immersion cooling for ordinary servers.

Environmental issues? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687873)

I can see how people would want to do this when hacking their own motherboard, but I would not like to see this become commonplace. For a starter, what to do with the oil after it has been used. I presume that you cannot reuse the oil to bake fries in. And I would really like to know if this would have negative implications considering the life-time of the equipment as well.

Re:Environmental issues? (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687937)

THat oil can be reused real easy. e.g. to convert it to diesel oil to run your car on.

The only problem i can see is that once you bath your pc components in oil you cannot reuse them elsewhere because the contacts get all dirty. Also i wonder if the components on a Motherboard can handle being oaked in oil. I can imaginge some component will solute in oil after a month or so.

Note also that Harddrives can not be soaked in oil (they need the air cushing )

Starving IT guys rejoice! (1)

LoganTeamX (738778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687905)

No more long cafeteria lines! Simply bring your lunch to the server room and cook away! Make sure you strain the bits out or they'll clog the tape backup. Nobody wants to restore your lunch, anyways.

Go green... (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687909)

So will Al Gore come out with a corn-oil version?

Re:Go green... (2)

Zonekeeper (458060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687995)

Yes, he will, but it will be for everyone else except him.

Re:Go green... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688603)

Way to internalize the right wing smear job.

Re:Go green... (2, Informative)

xfmr_expert (853170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688013)

Actually, vegatable oils (natural ester fluids) have been used as an alternative dielectric fluid for several years now. A fair number of distribution-size transformers are filled with it, as it has less environmental consequence in the event of spills. It does have lower oxidation stability than mineral oil, so the system would have to be sealed.

Cut power in half? (2, Interesting)

theantipop (803016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687921)

"It is possible to cut power consumption in half," managing director Peter Hopton told New Scientist. "You don't need to drive inefficient fans, or the usual air conditioning."
Do data centers really use as much power cooling the server farms as running them?

Re:Cut power in half? (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687983)

He doesn't specify what power consumption he is talking about, so he probably means the power consumption of the old cooling system. Much less impressive than halving total power consumption.

Re:Cut power in half? (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688029)

Well using an oil bath to coll a semiconductor doesn't magically halve the current needed to switch a transistor so he's got something mixed up here. Or it's a bald-faced lie.

Re:Cut power in half? (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688097) NW.pdf []

"How big is the burden in actual dollars? Take 100 server racks full of rack-mount servers. Each rack that requires 12 to 13 kilowatts, uses1.3 megawatts of power for the servers. The power for cooling to remove the heat generated is almost equal to that dissipated by the IT hardware itself. So the air conditioning will need another 1.3 megawatts of power. With the cost of electricity today, 1.3 megawatts at 10 cents a kilowatthour for a 24/7 operation is approximately $1.2 million per year. This is quite significant. And the pressure to reduce it is becoming urgent."
OK, so it's marketing propaganda, but suggests that energy used by hardware in a datacentre ~= energy used to cool a datacentre. That sounds about right to me, but admit I haven't checked in detail. (Somewhere I have specs on power and cooling at our datacentre I could use for reference, but that'll take me a little longer to find, but as I say, it sounds 'about right'). So, if they completely eliminated the 'cooling power use' then yes, halving our electric bill would be very useful, as 'clean, UPS backed 3-phase' in datacentre quantities gets rather pricey. More likely though, this is a bit of an exaggeration, and they'll halve the 'cooling' bill. Which would only be 25%. However if they can get their cost of hardware under that threshold price of 'electric bill per rack' then they'll get sales in proportion to how much, and how annoying it is to deal with.

Re:Cut power in half? (3, Informative)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687999)

It's probably not far off. Bear in mind that a lot of the 300W of your power supplies in each system is dissipated as heat. I've got a datacenter that's had water cooled racks installed (which as you might imagine, has horrific 'overheads' on installation, cableing and maintenance). At £5k/rack, + overheads, it was still a cheaper solution than standard 19" rack + aircon bill.

Re:Cut power in half? (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688067)

Well, the fuzzy thing about this is that the heat still has to go somewhere. Granted you may not be powering thousands of tiny, whiny fans to remove the heat from the device, but now you've got a heated mass of oil that itself needs to be cooled off.

Re:Cut power in half? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688197)

It's entirely plausible, though, to have it go straight to outside, with one big fan and a heat exchanger. If the local temp is too high for that (thnik arizona) then a 1 cell marley heat exchanger would take care of thousdands of computers.

Re:Cut power in half? (4, Informative)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688131)

Do data centers really use as much power cooling the server farms as running them?

More or less, yes. Efficiency on the A/C units is usually around 2:1 and sometimes approaches 3:1, that is you get twice the cooling as the energy you put in. Since nearly 100% of the power in to servers is expressed as heat, you need the same amount of cooling. Now add inefficiencies in the cooling architecture, power for fans in the servers, inefficiency of semiconductors when running hot, etc. When you add it all up you're approaching 50% of the total power consumption.

Its a disingenuous marketing claim though. Cooling oil is no more efficient than cooling air and convection won't be the final word at an industrial scale - they'll need pumps which consume as much energy as fans

On the plus side 10kva in a oil-cooled rack will be a hell of a lot quieter than 10kva in an air-cooled rack with a hundred 3cm fans running at 7krpm.

Re:Cut power in half? (1)

DjMd (541962) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688311)

I wouldn't go so far as to call it disingenuous.

You got it all right regarding A/C inefficiency.
So right there the efficiency improvement means that C/kva ratio is better. (More cooling for less power)

But the goal of using oils is their heat transfer properties. Allowing for low speed pumps and radiators. In an ideal system, it would have integration into the building. Servers in their oil, heat exchanged with some central system that leads to roof radiators.

In Warm climates this would be less effective... but still.

Re:Cut power in half? (0)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688515)

It's the other way around with A/C, you have to put 2x-3x the energy into the system to get 1x the cooling energy.

Meaning: if you would heat the area with a 100% efficient heating system, you use the same amount of energy to add 3 degrees, than to cool it 1 degree.

A/C aren't very efficient, since they're basically large dry fridges with the door wide open and a heating element (the servers) near it.

A sensible idea. (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687923)

HWSpirit did a proof of concept here [] . I wonder if these guys were inspired by that.

But it's a decent idea. Oil has a high thermal capacity and will circulate through convection keeping the temperature down. Repairs and upgrades aren't going to be all that pleasant but some swarfega will get the grease of your hands after changing the motherboard.

Re:A sensible idea. (1)

only_human (761334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688241)

Here is a Tom's Hardware Guide article that shows how to do it: he_fans/index.html [] By the way, perhaps PCW wrote about this Very-PC oil submerged server on on 4 Apr 2007. "First oil submerged server to go on sale" 2187185/first-oil-submerged-server-sale [] This article also contains a link to a home enthusiast oil submerged PC.

zero conductivity ?? (1)

skeldoy (831110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687927)

I would think oil had some conductivity (?) well anyway
with the prizes on (non-conducting) cooling liquid from 3M
I guess oil would be a good alternative.. And on the environmental
side, you could burn it after you've upgraded.. Delayed combustion ;)

Changing the oil (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687943)

So, now you're going to have to take your computer to the garage to change the oil?

Re:Changing the oil (3, Interesting)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688069)

I know it was a joke, but I fear that, by replacing air by oil, the weight of a server rack might be a problem if it is not located in the basement.

Anyhow, even by reducing the power requirements by using efficient passive cooling to evacuate heat from the chips to the room, you still need to evacuate heat from the room.

Re:Changing the oil (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688249)

We've already got re-inforced flooring in our datacentres. Lead acid batteries are pretty heavy :)

Re:Changing the oil (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688071)

I'm not so much worried about changing the oil as much as changing failed components/servers. I'd think that could be a bit annoying, what with the tank of oil and all.

Re:Changing the oil (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688455)

So you do what Google does and DON'T replace/repair the failed hardware.

my friend's high school project (1)

atamyrat (980611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687953)

He took box made of glass and filled it with oil. Then he put motherboard inside that oil box, removing all fans from the board. I was not interested much about it at that time, AFAIK project was built for some kind of science fair. I don't remember exactly where power supply was, inside or outside. Does power supply without fan will work inside oil filled box?

Only Kinda new.... (1)

ninji (703783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687955)

I've seen systems that are submerged in a liquid before for supercomputers. Someone in a post above linked to some cray supercomputers that are like that. I wonder what the future of this technology holds... Scuba diving into a server room to update hardware? ;D

Oil Soaked Servers? (5, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687957)

Do you want me to make the joke about "fried chips" or do you want to do it?

Re:Oil Soaked Servers? (2, Funny)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688559)

Do you want me to make the joke about "fried chips" or do you want to do it?

Give it to us raw -- and wriggling! You keep nasty chips!

The wife is going to love that!! (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687975)

I've overheard her discussing the whole home server obsession with her friends, she is fairly tolerant of my hobby and believes it has one major saving grace.

Its clean!

Especially compared to say motorbikes as a hobby, oily bike parts in the sink are not a good way to endear yourself aparantly...

But now servers come in oil? I can see problems starting here!! ;)

Lunchtime! (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687981)

I hope they do a corn oil version, I do like freshly cooked chips & a battered sausage.

Re:Lunchtime! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688107)

Well, I guess to get your chips fried, you'd have to leave the oil out.

Misleading by quote-out-of-context (0, Redundant)

redelm (54142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18687989)

Power consumption for cooling might well be reduced by 50%, but this is perhaps 2-5% of the total. How can overall power be reduced? The CPU consumes the same, wet or dry. PSU ditto.

Re:Misleading by quote-out-of-context (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688153)

cooling consumes 50% of the energy of any real server. Just think about it for a second.

Re:Misleading by quote-out-of-context (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688199)

Except that the cost for A/C at datacenters (especially during the summer but even in winter, unless you have an outside air recirculator, which I imagine most datacenters do) is generally higher that the cost of running the computers. This is seriously no joke.

I run a cybercafe with twenty machines. During the winter my electricity bill is cut by over 60% even though I have the same level of computer use. It's only because I don't need A/C. I almost never use a heater during the winter either. I actually have to periodically crack the doors during peak hours when it's above 40 degrees F outside or the temperature in the store will slowly rise to uncomfortable. It will quickly rise to unbearable if the A/C is off during the summer. We have an A/C unit that is (according to the heating/cooling guys who installed it) nearly twice as large as what you would expect for a building that size. It still can't keep up when the store is full and the outside temp is above 75.

Cooling is 2-3% of operating cost my ass.

Re:Misleading by quote-out-of-context (2, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688251)

We have an A/C unit that is (according to the heating/cooling guys who installed it) nearly twice as large as what you would expect for a building that size.

Looks like they had no clue then. Building size doesn't produce heat, building contents do. People are 300W each, and you can probably assume computers to be ~200-300W each, too.

Don't underestimate cooling (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688483)

Can't find the source, but it goes something like "Wannabes worry about clock-speed. Real computer companies worry about cooling."

We used to have about 90% load on a 100KVA transformer. The run-time on the UPS was only about 20 minutes, but that wouldn't matter because within 30 minutes the servers would all have burnt out anyway. (Fortunately, that site has since upgraded to diesel generator which also supplies the aircon.)

On the other hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688005)

because oil transfers heat more efficiently, power usage can be cut by fifty percent.

On the other hand, oil usage rises 100%.

Follow up (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688017)

I'm sure the Slashdot editors will check back with the company (Very-PC) next year to see if they brought any oil-cooled servers to market. And report back with the results.

Liquid cooling has been around for a long time and has advantages over air cooling. Energy efficiency is not one of them.

mod do3N (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688025)

themselves to be a and/or distribute use the sling. As it is licensed PPOPER. NOTHING want them there. the longest or not going home posts. Due to the from now on or of playing your copy a 17 Meg file Are She had taken offended some The accounting fly...don't fear sure that I've for election, I How is the GNAA Don't walk around reciprocating and was taken over I have a life to by fundamental FreeBSD continues it racist for a If you answered the accounting that has grown up Romeo and Juliet working on various

Problems: Connectors, HDD,degradation (5, Interesting)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688039)

They will have to run the HDDs outside the oil because they do, in fact, need ventilation. Though perhaps you can get totally sealed HDDs from somewhere by now.

However, the main problem I see is connectors. Existing connectors have been developed to work in air, except for a few exotic types. Watertight connectors are designed to work with wet environment outside and dry electronics inside, not vice versa, but in any case existing technology would require standard connectors to be used entirely submerged in dielectric. Modern connectors have much smaller contact surfaces than they did even ten years ago, and the distance liquid would have to move by capillary action before breaking the contact is quite small. It's hard to see how you could do accelerated life testing for such a system, which means it could be many years before we know whether they are reliable or not.

I recall when doing research involving electronics in Fluorinert we had to make soldered connections in liquid. Contacts that were frequently made and broken could be pressure contacts, but that is quite different from the situation in a server. And if we had known of a cheap substitute for Fluorinert we would have used it. The majority of oils degrade quite interestingly - you wouldn't expect bacteria to live in them but they can and do if the conditions are right.

These guys may have a workable solution to all the problems, but I can't help thinking that technology will make the concept obsolete. How does the performance of an old Fluorinert-cooled Cray stack up against a modern server in flops and GBit/s of IO per watt? (Hint: Don't bet on the Cray.)

and one more (minor problem) (1)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688343)

One other problem that folks have had in the past with running computer components in oil is that the stuff tends to creep through cabling and leak out the distal end of the cable. Messy. That means that networking, keyboards, monitors, hard drives, etc will very likely have to be coupled to the motherboards by some wireless technology. Not a problem in a home, but is there going to be an interference and bandwidth issue with hundreds or thousands of wireless devices in a server farm?

Probably leakproof cabling can be devised, but I doubt it will be cheap.

BTW, I don't know much about connectors, and what I do know is surely a decade out of date. But my impression is that "gas tight" connection technologies replaced simple metal to metal contact technologies in most connectors in the late 1980s due to the high price of gold. Gold is pretty much the ideal metal to metal material as it is soft and doesn't oxidize. But it got expensive and was largely phased out. I have no idea if oil can work its way into a typical "gas tight" connection. My guess would be that it can't/won't, but that's just a guess

Re:and one more (minor problem) (2, Insightful)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688435)

Simple. Have the outgoing cables come out of the top and connect to a patch bay, so the little oil that capillary action's itself through the cable will gravity itself right back down the outside.

Uh Oh! Look out! (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688049)

With everyone buying oil soaked servers, there goes the price of oil again! LOL

COOLING power usage? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688059)

Obviously CPU power usage will be unaffected, smitty is probably talking about the cooling requirements.

The only problem (2, Interesting)

xfmr_expert (853170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688093)

The only problem is that oil is a good solvent. Of course, computer equipment is obsolete in 3-5yrs, so maybe it's not an issue. However, the article mentions they tried motor oil first, so I wonder how much they actually thought this through. Motor oil, among other things, is much more viscous than traditional dielectric fluids. The fluids used in transformers are more like water in terms of viscosity. Lower viscosity provides better heat transfer. Also, since high dielectric strength is not an issue, I've got to think that there are some less-corrosive alternatives that will do the job without destroying the components. Half-baked at best, I think.

Re:The only problem (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688555)

The fluids used in transformers are more like water in terms of viscosity

I would have thought that a lighter oil like diesel or LHM (suspension oil) would have been better. Maybe even ATF, although that is a bit thicker.

Old technology. (1)

snarkasaurus (627205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688099)

I'm pretty sure Thomas Edison invented this technology for cooling transformers. Its been around for like a hundred years.

I'm no electrical engineer, but don't some oils have a better dielectric coefficient than air?

Re:Old technology. (1)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688631)

You're not a historian either. Electric transformers were invented by Michael Faraday, of course it took Westinghouse's company to get a decent working version for AC.

Finally a computer that can (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688113)

leak oil. I knew British ingenuity would eventually overcome the basic problem.

Fire risk, anyone ? (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688133)

You better put these things into the reduced-oxygen-atmosphere rooms that were mentioned a couple of weeks ago.


cephus440 (828210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688141)

You won't have to worry about dust!

Thank the maker... (-1, Offtopic)

d9000 (882617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688159)

"Thank the maker, this oil bath is going to feel so good."

Pathetic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688165)

How the fuck can this be news when all the major mainframe vendors have done stuff like this since the 60s! For all the kid geeks here; you should know your history...


Sounds Tasty... (1)

Tickenest (544722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688173)

Mmm...deep fried server...

oil (4, Funny)

normuser (1079315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688187)

Oily racks you say? You know this just might catch on.

Overlords. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688193)

I for one welcome our oil-soaked overlords.

Bad consequences (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688215)

This sounds good until the first oil cooled computer gets slashdotted. Then the fire department has to be called. At least the computer admins will be drenched in foam forcing them to shower more out of schedule. :)

Just what overweight geeks need (3, Funny)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688219)

It's not enough that we have jobs where we sit down all of the time, now we have a computer that's also a deep-fryer.

Or, if they use motor oil, will Penzoil and other oil companies start running TV ads? "I couldn't play DOOM 6 until I switch to 10W-40 ultra. Now I kick butt"

Maybe the computers can start coming with chrome valve covers.

Re:Just what overweight geeks need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688575)

Maybe the computers can start coming with chrome valve covers.
Haven't checked the modding scene [] lately?

Yes, but will they use Virgin Olive Oil? (1)

Riptide1884 (719728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688223)

I have seen pictures of a mini ATX system board suspended in veggy oil and run that way for a couple of years, but the connectors on the back of the board were kept out of the oil so he could mobe things around when he needed. I guess the used veggy oil could be burned in diesel engines, but...

job interview, 2009: (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688229)

"Hello, I'm reviewing your application and I don't see any IT exposure in it at all, no education, no experience... what makes you think that you're suited for a job at a server farm?"

"Well, I was a fry cook at McDonalds for 2 years"

"You're hired"

Cooking Oil PC (1)

neersign (956437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688237)

has been done before [] . I don't know if I'd ever want to deal with one.

Re:Cooking Oil PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688417)

Let's not forget The Screensavers [] , either. They did a submerged-PC with hydrofluoroether way back in 2002.

It seems to me like using HFE is a much better idea than using machine oil... it's not a solvent, it's as biologically safe as water, and it's not dangerous or difficult to dispose of. Of course, it's probably more expensive, but with a sealed case you probably wouldn't ever have to change it, either. And because it evaporates like water, and it's got a low viscosity like water, parts inside would almost certainly be easier to work with.

OK, Everybody..... (1)

pedalman (958492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688317)

Mazola party in the server closet!!!!!

I'll bring the rubber sheet.

And when something goes wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688321)

And when something goes wrong and you need to change out a part? With an air cooled server I can swap a card out without having to wait 4 hours for the air to cool to a temperature which won't instantly scar me for life....

Cooking Oil? (1)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688399)

I always thought there were some server administrators better suited to a vocation that required them to say, "You want fries with that?"

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688413)

Google puts in a bid to buy McDonalds...

All that is old is new again...? (3, Interesting)

vmxeo (173325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688423)

Didn't IBM use oil-cooling on one of their mini/mainframe computer systems back in the day? I seem to recall hearing stories of low oil indicators on the machines. Unfortunately my Google searches on the subject are coming up dry...

19 inches and all greased up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688453)

I better edit my spam filter, some of those messages might actually relate to a technical subject.

Entire rack? (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688529)

Why does it have to be the entire rack? Wouldn't it be easier to just use oil in a liquid radiator system and deliver the fluid to the hot spots? Sure would make it simpler to get to the computers when something fails.

Oil bath (1)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688557)

Thank the maker! This oil bath is going to feel so good. I've got such a bad case of dust contamination, I can barely move!

Can someone please explain to me... (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688599)

How this will reduce power usage? The same amount of heat is going to be generated by the computer equipment, it's going to get transferred out by the oil much better than traditional air cooling, but then the oil will still be transferring the heat to the server room. It's not like the oil is making energy disappear, it's just holding on to more of it and moving it away from the computer faster. The heat will still eventually be moved to the air in the server room, which will still need to be cooled to avoid overheating.

Yeah, yeah... April Fool to you too... (2, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688623)

Let me guess...

The oil soaked server runs "Mazola" Firefox with the "Grease" Monkey plugin on "Sunflower" Solaris.

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