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data centers, sustainability


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Data Furnace

In a paper presented this year at the Usenix Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing, two researchers at the University of Virginia and four at Microsoft Research explored how micro data centers could be placed inside homes and used as a source of heat. The authors call the concept the "data furnace."

They acknowledge that it is more likely that data furnaces, if adopted, would be placed first in basements of office and apartment buildings, not in individual homes. But as a "thought-provoking exercise," the authors give homes the bulk of their attention.

If a home has a broadband Internet connection, it can serve as a micro data center. One, two or three cabinets filled with servers could be installed where the furnace sits and connected with the existing circulation fan and ductwork. Each cabinet could have slots for, say, 40 motherboards - each one counting as a server. In the coldest climate, about 110 motherboards could keep a home as toasty as a conventional furnace does.

Full Article...

Source: New York Times


Jie Liu (Microsoft Research)
Michel Goraczko (Microsoft Research)
Sean James (Microsoft Research)
Christian Belady (Microsoft Research)
Jiakang Lu (University of Virginia, Charlottesville)
Kamin Whitehouse (University of Virginia, Charlottesville)

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