Why not having a “little cloud at home” ? Cloud computing center in each house. Data Center in home packaging?
One or two small racks. But still real racks. Well ventilated , kept secure and in the dark. Probably in the basement of the house.
Built as an micro Cloud. But following all the principles of the real “big” Cloud.
Hardware? One or two physical servers, running Hyper-Visor with virtual machines. Probably Windows Home Server Variety. Although I am not sure , if WHS clustering goes as smooth as Windows 2008 Server. All of this is the real stuff.
Add one infrastructure appliance : firewall, load balancer, broadband switch, security. New “network home appliance kind”. This thing does not exist yet, but I would recommend that Juniper and Cisco, start delivering them soon. They are already converging devices into fewer boxes. Same concept but scaled down for the “Home Cloud”. Probably the whole home data centre infrastructure in one box. Just imagine the amount of “geekines” oozing from that device.
Going further, and “facing backwards”. One disk array “in the back” storing the databases, media files etc … Perhaps even iSCSI, with fibre optics and dedicated level 3 switch. If price is right?
One backup device. Probably optical RW storage.
Cooling : water of course. Although natural air cooling is very modern these day. Here is the opportunity for architects to make the difference in a completely new way.
Energy : Fuel cell of course. This could be first successful fuel call application in homes.
There are other computer aided house elements that will go in here : smart metering, house security, VOIP device, sound system, etc…
Hm… This seems to me a very good idea? I am sure someone has thought of this before?
Update 2010 03 18
I somehow forgot to draw a parallel with “Private Clouds” : Cloud computing installations owned by companies. Vis-a-vis the public Clouds where many “tenants” (aka companies) live in the same cloud. That makes public Cloud cheap and flexible but also an instant receiver of a big and firm:”No!”, from banks and others paranoid about security.
My “Home Cloud” (Household Cloud ?) idea is actually an private cloud, but scaled down and installed (and owned) by a single household. Or maybe by a neighbourhood, where I perhaps can invent a nice term “Neighbourhood Cloud” :) An interesting proposal. Should be cheaper than “Household Cloud”. But equally effective. With wireless connections to the households (WiMax probably), etc.
In any case if any one is interested in the scale of “Private Clouds” imminent market “avalanche” , please watch carefully this video: http://news.zdnet.com/2422-19178_22-404938.html