Then, there's this: Microsoft research suggests the possibility of "data furnaces
," small server packages of consisting of tens or hundreds of processors engineered to plug into existing HVAC systems to contribute their excess thermal energy to the heating of air and water in the home.
—"With Scavenged Power And Data Furnaces, Finding Energy In Waste
," Fast Company
, July 28, 2011
Instead of fighting the heat they want to create data furnaces
which will use the heat to heat homes and businesses. Their idea is to sell fully enclosed data furnaces
much like a regular furnace. The data furnace
would physically fit into a basement or closet and integrate into an existing duct system to distribute heat. Additionally, the data furnace
would be connected to the Internet and be secured from tampering.
—Russell Hitchcock, "Data Furnaces
," Windows Networking
, September 8, 2011
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
—Jie Liu, et al., "The Data Furnace: Heating Up with Cloud Computing
," Microsoft Research
, July 25, 2011
An older sense of the phrase data furnace
refers to a home computer that provides processing power for multiple home functions, including networking, media sharing, security, lighting, and power management. This sense dates to 1997:
What may make sense in the future is something that has been referred to as a "data furnace
The data furnace is a powerful computer that serves the same function in a home as a mainframe or minicomputer in a company's local area network, providing centralized processing power to perform entertainment and PC computing functions.
—Gerry Blackwell, "The PC: your next entertainment centre?," The Toronto Star, December 11, 1997