Microsoft is dunking servers into boiling liquid to keep them cool

Imagine if someone told you they had submerged your PC into a tub of boiling liquid while the system was still running. You’d probably feel a mix of emotions, including anger, shock, and bewilderment. Well, nobody’s going to do that to you (hopefully, anyway), but Microsoft did do that very thing to itself, plunging densely packed server racks into a steel tank filled with a special liquid developed by 3M.

Unlike naturally occurring water (read: not pure H2O), this specially engineered liquid does not conduct electricity and is actually an effective insulator. The general concept is not new, as PC users have been dabbling with mineral oil for over a decade. But Microsoft is embarking on uncharted territory as a cloud provider.

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