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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.

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