MoreExperts love holding up cloud computing infrastructure as an ideal model of green IT because of the architectural efficiencies it entails (at least in theory). Most of us equate cloud infrastructure with massive data centers, but a new paper from Microsoft Research and a computer scientist from the University of Virginia offers a contrarian point of view.
The paper, The Data Furnace: Heating Up With Cloud Computing, argues that server architects that the researcher call data furnaces could offer a lower carbon footprint in certain scenarios, particularly home offices or office buildings. That is because they theorize that the servers could put out enough heat to become a primary heating system for these buildings, if connected into a buildings existing heat distribution systems and duct work.
So, instead of worrying so much about hot data centers are, we would work harder to redirect their heat where it could actually be useful.