I thought a friend of mine was out of his mind when he told me that he knew about an Austin company that was dunking computers in oil (servers specifically) to cool them. It sounded too crazy-ass sci-fi, too much like something some guy with a scraggly beard and a lab coat shows off while spouting expositional dialogue. Fantastic Fest celebrates genre film, and Fantastic Arcade similarly holds such science fiction-y material in the highest regard.
Guess what? It's real, it really does look like the future, and it's on display at The Highball today at Fantastic Arcade, courtesy of Midas Green Tech. First off, watch the following video from Will It Dunk, a site that the Midas folks just brought online:
So here's how it all works: they take a standard computer server, strip out all the fans, coat the hard drive (to prevent oil from seeping in to the moving parts), and submerge the whole thing in a vat of mineral oil.
Midas Green Tech want you to "come stick your finger in it" today at The Highball during Fantastic Arcade. You get a button that says "I stuck my finger in it" for doing so.
This sounds like a plan to me.
Mineral oil is a dielectric fluid, which means that it doesn't conduct electricity. That means is that you can not only dunk electronics in the stuff, but you can stick your hand in it while the hardware is running and not feel a thing, nor does it do anything to the computers.
This technology could change the face of data centers by cooling servers many times more efficiently than the vast arrays of fans currently employed by traditional server rooms. This means much lower energy costs for data ceter companies that would theoretically adopt this stuff. That translates to gamers, webmasters, net broadcasters, and others being able to host their services and content for less cost.
When I went up to their facility in northwest Austin to check this stuff out, I was stunned. It's very much a "you've gotta see it in person" kind of thing, so we brought them on as a sponsor of Arcade this year. Their demo tank will be on-hand all day until Arcade breaks down in the evening, and Midas will take the stage briefly at 6pm to talk about this awesome new tech.
If you need virtual private hosting, use coupon code FANTASTIC via this page and get 1TB per month free bandwidth for a year when signing up.
Don't forget to come stick your finger in it.