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Great Ideas for A Greater Edmonton Do you have an idea that you feel could help enhance Edmonton's image, profile or reputation? Small or large, dramatic or subtle, we want to hear from you! Community projects, solutions to problems, ideas about improvements to Edmonton, or neat new directions for the area, post them all here.


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Old 24-08-2011, 09:12 PM   #1
KC
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Default Server farm - district energy for muni lands idea

Edmonton should try to attract a server farm for the municipal airport lands redevelopment. In the winter the farm could supply heat and in the summer heat pumps could provide cooling with waste heat being used in pools, greenhouses at night, maybe as a complement to a hybrid solar system, etc.
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Old 24-08-2011, 11:27 PM   #2
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I think this could be a possibility as the CCA lands are developed in stages.
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Old 25-08-2011, 08:16 AM   #3
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Yeah, they may be the future. So like cities that are airport hubs, server hubs might also work as an anchor to attract a lot of ancillarybusiness.

It seems that we're returning to a computing model close to the old dumb terminals we used to use (aka central plant/public utility/mainframe model). Except they are now handheld. Now it's got a new name for the umpteenth time and companies like Apple and Microsoft that fought IBM, Oracle over it are now promoting it under the "cloud computing" branding so everyone will now be on board.
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Old 22-09-2011, 04:15 PM   #4
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Great idea KC! Server farms are big business:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/st...terstitialskip
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Old 25-02-2012, 07:39 AM   #5
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The "cloud" belongs over the airport lands!!!
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Old 25-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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Server farms require massive amounts of electricity. They are located based primarily on the availability of cheap, highly reliable, price-stable, hopefully green sources of electricity. Alberta electricity rates poorly on almost all of those factors.

Unless you're proposing a dirt-cheap geothermal electrical generating station, this is not a practical suggestion beyond relocating some of the Government of Alberta's various data centres (including those outsourced to third parties). I can assure you that there's no net value in that suggestion at this time.

Also, server farms provide very limited on-going employment opportunities. Those few opportunities are welcomed in isolated farm towns of 5,000 people. They would be irrelevant in a large city. Plus, the whole idea of cloud computing is to allow users to access compute power from anywhere - there's no reason why a firm using the server farm would need to be located anywhere near it.

Public server farms in Canada are best located in Quebec, northern BC (in cooperation w/ Telus), and of course Manitoba. The principles of reusing heat are (somewhat) sound and beginning to be implemented in advanced data centres; their application in Edmonton is not cost-effective. You'd no more build a competitive server farm in Edmonton in 2012 than you would an aluminum plant.
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Old 29-02-2012, 07:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFlyAway View Post
Server farms require massive amounts of electricity. They are located based primarily on the availability of cheap, highly reliable, price-stable, hopefully green sources of electricity. Alberta electricity rates poorly on almost all of those factors.

Unless you're proposing a dirt-cheap geothermal electrical generating station, this is not a practical suggestion beyond relocating some of the Government of Alberta's various data centres (including those outsourced to third parties). I can assure you that there's no net value in that suggestion at this time.

Also, server farms provide very limited on-going employment opportunities. Those few opportunities are welcomed in isolated farm towns of 5,000 people. They would be irrelevant in a large city. Plus, the whole idea of cloud computing is to allow users to access compute power from anywhere - there's no reason why a firm using the server farm would need to be located anywhere near it.

Public server farms in Canada are best located in Quebec, northern BC (in cooperation w/ Telus), and of course Manitoba. The principles of reusing heat are (somewhat) sound and beginning to be implemented in advanced data centres; their application in Edmonton is not cost-effective. You'd no more build a competitive server farm in Edmonton in 2012 than you would an aluminum plant.
But,but,but... I don't understand... We have the Alberta Advantage AND electricity deregulation!

P.S. good points. Thanks for the input.
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