Microsoft not yet ready to switch to liquid cooling for Azure servers

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Microsoft continues to offer some of the most sophisticated and affordable cloud hosting solutions on the market with its Azure service. Despite how well it excels (no pun intended) in providing top-of-the-line specs and features to many businesses today, the datacenters themselves continue to lag behind on at least some technological advancement.

One area where the Microsoft’s Azure datacenters could see improvement is in the way keeps its servers cool. The company’s principal platform engineer and manager of the thermal team working on its server development, Brandon Rubenstein, noted that, “eventually, we’ll get to the point where some of these chips or GPU solutions will drive us to require liquid cooling,” (via Data Center Knowledge).

Right now, the equipment continues to be air-cooled, and Microsoft still hasn’t committed to a liquid cooled solution. In addition to the reduced power consumption and environmental benefits liquid cooling could offer, it could also help increase server density and potentially reduce system failures.

Part of the reason Microsoft hasn’t adopted liquid cooling in its Azure datacenters is likely due to it waiting on the standardization of such technologies. Rubenstein has predicted that rack-level liquid cooling could be standardized in as little as one or two years, although the company has been experimenting with various methods for its Project Olympus OCP servers.

One can only hope for the standardization and adoption for liquid cooling to take off.