According to Microsoft Research, we should all install giant cloud servers in our basements and use them to provide central heating and hot water. This Data Furnace, as it is referred to, is pretty much equal to a typical heating system and is not only cheaper but also more efficient.
From what Microsoft Research is saying, the data furnace is pretty much your typical heating system in that it contains a metal cabinet and is added to your hot water pipes. Microsoft’s report states that is makes a lot of sense for us to do this. We all knew that cloud computing was going to be hot, but not this hot. Well, you be the judge. Here is the abstract:
In this paper, we argue that servers can be sent to homes and office buildings and used as a primary heat source. We call this approach the Data Furnace or DF. Data Furances have three advantages over traditional data centers: 1) a smaller carbon footprint 2) reduced total cost of ownership per server 3) closer proximity to the users. From the home owner’s perspective, a DF is equivalent to a typical heating system: a metal cabinet is shipped to the home and added to the ductwork or hot water pipes. From a technical perspective, DFs create new opportunities for both lower cost and improved quality of service, if cloud computing applications can exploit the differences in the cost structure and resource profile between Data Furances and conventional data centers.
Download the research paper here. Voice your opinions about this brilliant idea in the comments below.