The Data Furnace: Heating Up with Cloud Computing

  • Jie Liu ,
  • Michel Goraczko ,
  • Sean James ,
  • Christian Belady ,
  • Jiakang Lu ,
  • Kamin Whitehouse

3rd USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing |

Published by USENIX

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.