Cloud Heating...



  • Cloud&Heat places servers on remote premises (potentially your office). They process data for Cloud&Heat’s data customers, and heat your building with the waste heat. Cloud customers get cheap pay-as-you-go cloud compute, block storage and object storage, based on OpenStack. Heat customers (the people who host the server cabinets) get free heating.

    What could go wrong? I have a hard time believing this business model will survive for very long....


    Filed Under: As Seen On Slashdot



  • Then again, it's not exactly a novel idea. Power-heat-coupling has been done, so computing-heat-coupling might work as well.



  • Not that you can't generate heat with computers. We all know you can. But installing stuff in random ass places?



  • Does the location really matter much?

    There are ideas that very likely won't work right from the bat (Solar freakin' roadways come to mind). There are ideas with a high probability of success (usually low-risk ones, though). And then there are ideas which make sense but noone will know whether they'll be worthwhile until you've actually tried them.

    This is just one of the latter ones.



  • @Rhywden said:

    Does the location really matter much?

    Datacenters work because you put stuff in one place so you get efficiencies of scale. Putting your hardware all over the place throws a lot of that away. Granted, you make up for it by not requiring the real estate.

    But then, what if, as a client, your machines end up far away from each other. Now your app server has a lot latency talking to your DB. That will suck.

    @Rhywden said:

    This is just one of the latter ones.

    Could be. I still have a prediction.



  • Which efficiencies of scale would that be exactly?


  • mod

    Yeah, I don't see it as being particularly successful. I can think of two drawbacks:

    1. Bandwidth. Not everyone who might want to sign up for the heating side of things will be able to get sufficient bandwidth at their location. And who is responsible for providing the internet connectivity for the cloud servers?
    2. Physical security. I would imagine that anyone hosting the server cabinets to get the free heating probably has to grant unlimited access to said cabinets, while also guaranteeing they are secure from unauthorized tampering.

    Anyway, I doubt it will last.



  • @boomzilla said:

    What could go wrong?

    The ambient air temperature could get raised above the dew point, causing The Cloud to evanesce.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @boomzilla said:

    What could go wrong?

    Your servers end up at some grow house because they are using hosting servers as an excuse for their massively increased power consumption and all of your hardware ends up in the evidence locker pending a government investigation.

    Just thinking off the top of my head...


  • BINNED

    @Intercourse said:

    Just thinking off the top of my head...

    Or we just found out that you hanging out on this forum is just a cover, and you just uncovered your business plan to us!


  • area_deu

    I'm sure someone did something like that already ...
    You could probably put a bunch of (potted plants) inside a well-lit server room.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I have admitted that I have fractured a law or two in my day. ;)


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @aliceif said:

    well-lit server room.

    Such a thing exists? Nearly every server room I have been in looked like Gollum could be lurking around the corner.



  • The rumor is that Santa was struggling to make profit from his old business plan, apparently the giving free gifts business is not that profitable as many have thought. With the decline of royalties from coca-cola. The oil situation in the world.
    In an attempt to re brand himself and pay the salaries of his helpers he opened his own cloud service. Location wise he is saving a lot on cooling, unfortunately he is also responsible for global warming.



  • Surely physical maintenance, hardware upgrades and so on would be a lot more difficult and expensive under this model?

    Also, it sounds like the datacentre customers will be missing out on a lot of the benefits of a traditional datacentre, like hopefully-redundant power supplies, backup generation that might work, incompletely tested DR plans, and so on.



  • I'm glad that non-fictional risks are being ignored in favor of buttumptions here.



  • You can't have much of a conversation about the non-fictional risks. @abarker pointed out the physical security one, which is one I'd be highly worried about, but what else is there to say about it? "Yep, that'd be an issue."



  • @Buddy said:

    The ambient air temperature could get raised above the dew point, causing The Cloud to evanesce.

    I was also thinking, what about when it's not so cold? Can I shut down the servers heating my office or do I have to pay for extra air conditioning?

    @Rhywden said:

    Which efficiencies of scale would that be exactly?

    Such as being able to walk from the hardware being used by various customers as opposed to driving all over town (or farther depending on the area of service). Stuff like power was already mentioned.

    This sounds like a gimmick designed to deal with a surplus of venture capital in the market.



  • I could see this working for folding@home-like workloads. Server goes down? Then you're not getting paid and there's no risk otherwise. Probably add some form of insurance against damage (mandatory to be paid by the hoster?)


  • SockDev

    @boomzilla said:

    What could go wrong? I have a hard time believing this business model will survive for very long....

    who pays for the electricity? powering a whole rack of servers is not cheap!



  • @accalia said:

    who pays for the electricity? powering a whole rack of servers is not cheap!

    I wondered that, so I looked through the linked article. It's explained here (emphasis mine):

    The heating side of the equation is more interesting. You pay up front to have a fire-proof cabinet installed. The installation cost is about the same as a conventional heating system, the company says, and it then provides hot water and room heating free of charge. **Cloud&Heat pays the Internet and electricity bills for the unit.**

  • SockDev

    well, that's good. i winder how they meter the electricity and if i can get my development rig on their side of that meter without them noticing.....



  • I don't know if anyone's read it, but this has worrying overtones of The Brentford Triangle.


  • SockDev

    huh.... adding that to my kindle library.



  • @accalia said:

    huh.... adding that to my kindle library.

    That's the second in a series. Here's the first book.

    The Brentford Trilogy currently has nine books.


  • area_deu

    @Keith said:

    Trilogy

    @Keith said:

    nine

    Wouldn't that be a Tri²logy?


  • SockDev

    @Keith said:

    The Brentford Trilogy currently has nine books.

    a-la Douglas Adams?


  • SockDev



  • You guys are missing the point.

    The heat comes is derived from the hot air emitting from the mouths of the idiot salesmen trying to sell this dumb product.

    The servers are secondary to the whole affair.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Can I shut down the servers heating my office or do I have to pay for extra air conditioning?

    Waste heat -> heat engine -> free air conditioning. It's win-win!


  • SockDev

    @another_sam said:

    Waste heat -> heat engine -> free air conditioning. It's win-win-win!

    yep. we're all winnars here!



  • Or better yet, use an absorption chiller -- those can run directly off a sufficiently concentrated heat source.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tarunik said:

    Or better yet, use an absorption chiller -- those can run directly off a sufficiently concentrated heat source.

    You mean… like a politician?



  • True, I had forgotten about the ammonia cycle. My father used to own one for 4WD camping. Ran on 12V, 240V and LPG so it didn't flatten the battery overnight.


  • SockDev

    @accalia said:

    a-la Douglas Adams?

    Yes. I also happened to be at school with his son and got into reading some of his books that way. Interesting person.

    And am rather a Hugo Rune fan ;)



  • One new post here. I open up the topic, I end up at first post.

    @discoursebot



  • @chubertdev - Days Since Last Discourse Bug: 0

    <!-- Posted by SockBot 0.13.0 "Devious Daine" on Mon Nov 17 2014 19:59:12 GMT+0000 (UTC)-->

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