Microsoft tests putting servers in ‘cooling baths’


Microsoft has found that two-phase immersion cooling helps reduce a server’s power consumption by up to 15%. In addition, the method has a lower failure rate due to the corrosive effects of oxygen in the air.

The new process immerses server racks in a steel holding tank – like a “cooling bath”. Inside, a non-conductive fluid is used to remove heat as it directly reaches the components.

This fluid has a lower boiling point (50 ° C) to condense on the tank cap and fall back into the liquid bath like rain. In this way, the system operates in a closed circuit, reducing energy and water costs.

This immersion cooling model is used by several cryptocurrency miners. So, Microsoft was inspired by the concept and has been conducting tests with servers for cloud computing and related to machine learning.

In addition to reducing energy and water consumption, the format allows you to store hardware in a more compact way. In the future, this will help to considerably reduce the space used by traditional air-cooled data centers.

Microsoft is currently studying the viability degrees of liquid cooling and how it works to withstand peak workloads. As well as, how the system can cooperate with high-demand cloud and artificial intelligence servers.

Commitment to the environment

The new experiment reveals Microsoft’s commitment to tackling water scarcity. One of the company’s pacts with the environment is to replenish even more water than it uses in its global operations by 2030.

For example, their offices have a rainwater collection system and treatment plants. Despite being challenging, projects like immersion cooling will help the tech giant get closer to its goals.