Microsoft Ready To Distribute The Cloud To Your Home
The cloud is a hot topic today. Not only is it popular, it literally generates a lot of heat. Data-centers are a huge investment and require a lot of power to run the machines as well as to keep them cool. On a very basic level, a computer efficiently converts electricity to heat, while processing some data, the same way a car engine converts petrol to heat, while also turning the wheels of the car.
This analogy has led researchers at Microsoft to come up with the idea of distributing the physical hardware of the cloud from a single data-center into multiple smaller installations that could replace the furnaces in a house or office building. These data furnaces would consume electricity and crunch numbers while simultaneously using the excess heat for spatial or water heating.
Using the data furnaces would have a number of advantages over conventional furnaces. Typically, the exhaust air from a computer is between 100 to 120 degrees fahrenheit. For homeowners, this exhaust air can be used to heat rooms as well as water for washing clothes. For company’s that build and operate data-centers, the physical cost of setting up the building as well as the cost of cooling the servers would be zero. In this situation, provided the companies pay for the electricity and Internet costs (which they would have to pay for anyways), everyone wins.