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Heat Your Home by Hosting Servers (PDF)

While an increasing amount of data and computing power is moving into the cloud, this paper by Microsoft Research and researchers at the University of Virginia proposes relocating the servers that host cloud services into residential dwellings, where the heat produced can be used to heat the home during the cold months. Most interesting is the researchers’ calculation that using their “data furnace” concept could result in savings of up to $300 per server per year, in comparison to traditional data centers. Regardless of whether the numbers would bear out in reality, I can say with assurance than a single Mac Pro and two 24-inch monitors makes my office significantly more comfortable in the winter.favicon follow link


Comments about Heat Your Home by Hosting Servers (PDF)
(Comments are closed.)

Ian Eiloart  2011-07-27 07:29
Hmm, of course what you really want is for your data to migrate to whichever location most requires the heating. northern hemisphere in the southern hemisphere summer, and vice-versa. Unfortunately, there aren't any well conected places with significant populations living that far south.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-07-27 07:33
Indeed - a truly innovative company would figure out how to site these data furnaces around the world in such a way that they could always be spinning servers up and down appropriately for heating needs.
Ted Stoffers  2011-08-01 19:25
Who pays for the cooling in the summer?

Hot servers are sad servers...
George Wade  2011-08-01 20:12
I found this example of rethinking a great problem into a greater opportunity fascinating. I believe that we should rebuild the world starting HERE.

Stirling and other heat engines can BE the air conditioning; charge electric vehicles; supply standby power for the building. The best way the government can help is to stand clear out of the way!
According to the paper, when it's too hot outside, servers will shut down; there is no auxiliary cooling. I didn't read deeply enough to find out where the data goes in that situation, maybe it's already replicated so the servers can spin down at will.