Yahoo’s Famous Chicken Coop Data Center Design For Sale
Yahoo has been in the news recently for selling its core assets to Verizon for $4.83 billion, marking the end of the iconic tech company as we know it. Yahoo also had more than a billion worth of non-core assets, however, which are also being sold off. One of the most important of these assets is what is known as their ‘Yahoo Computing Coop Design,’ or more commonly called the chicken coop data center design.
This unique design is based on a number of patents and proposed patents, which are being sold off now. In practice, the result is an interesting looking structure that boasts a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of under 1.1, which is very impressive.
Benefits of the Chicken Coop Design
The design has quite a few important advantages, including the fact that it makes use of outside air for cooling, only relying on evaporative cooling technologies when necessary. Depending on the climate of the area around the data center, this can result in massive savings on electrical consumption.
Along the top of the data center is the ‘penthouse’ that gives it the unique ‘chicken coop’ look. Fans within the data center will bring in cool air and have it pass over the servers. Natural convection will then bring the heated air up and out through the penthouse area of the structure. Depending on the temperature of this air, it can be recirculated in the data center, or removed entirely.
In addition to using outside air for cooling, the data center design also uses a flywheel energy storage system. This is an excellent option for situations where the energy requirements fluctuate significantly, such as with a data center. The energy is stored in the flywheel system, then used when it is needed.
Given the current trend of using green energy to power data centers, having a design that does not require constant cooling from air conditioning units is a great option. Air cooling is one of the main electrical drains for data centers, so this will make it more practical than ever to have a data center entirely powered by solar, wind, hydroelectric, or other renewable energy sources.
Where Will the Chicken Coop Fall
One of the biggest questions is who will buy the patents for this data center design. Obvious options include Microsoft, Alphabet (Google), and Rackspace, all of which are constantly building new data centers, and may benefit from the design options. Facebook could also be an option.
When selling the patents, Yahoo will almost certainly structure the deal so that they can license the designs and continue using them in their own data centers, according to reports. Given the fact that the primary benefit of the designs is energy reduction, many people are hoping that whatever company ends up making the purchase, they will begin licensing it out to anyone who wants to use it. This would reduce the overall energy consumption required by data centers around the globe.
Whatever ends up happening, this is just the beginning of the sales of Yahoo owned patents. They own more than 2500 existing or proposed patents that weren’t included in the list of ‘core assets’ when Verizon bought them out.