If you live in the Netherlands and have a fiber connection, you can now use the cloud to heat your home. No, you’re not going to download heat; Dutch company Nerdalize will install servers in your house that heat up rooms while decentralizing cloud computing.
The idea of a “data furnace” was proposed in a Microsoft Research paper back in 2011, but Nerdalize is the first company to put those ideas to use. The company’s eRadiators push excess heat from its cloud-computing services into a radiator-like housing to warm homes and businesses.
The servers will run year-round, but can vent heat outside during warmer months. The company will reimburse homeowners for the electricity used to run the servers, meaning you could heat your house for free. It will even perform dummy calculations to keep the servers warm in case of an Internet outage.
For Nerdalize, there is no cost to keeping a data center running. The company claims the cost-per-job is 55 percent lower than traditional methods. Users might experience more lag than traditional cloud computing due to heavy Internet usage at the host home, but the savings might be worth it in some applications.
The heaters are secure at both the software and hardware levels. Tamper-resistant casings keep prying hands away from software-encrypted drives, and homeowners don’t know what data is stored on their device. Nerdalize can wipe data, diagnose issues and perform maintenance remotely in most cases, but may require some home visits for bigger issues like replacing processors after their three-year lifespan is up.