Yahoo selling its ‘chicken coop’ data center design


Verizon has closed on the purchase of search engine pioneer Yahoo, thus ending the independent run of one of the original internet firms that launched in the early 1990s and the reign of error of Marissa Meyer. But the company is still having a fire sale of its patent portfolio, and one of them is a unique data center design.

The company announced in 2009 an unusual data center design in Lockport, New York. The building was shaped like a chicken coop and would use outside air for cooling with a flywheel-based energy storage system, and it would have an annualized PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) of under 1.1, which was better than what Google was reporting for its data centers at the time.

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The patents for the design, known as Yahoo Computing Coop data center, are part of a larger fire sale of patents Yahoo has amassed over the years. All told, Yahoo hopes to rake in around $1 billion for the sale of 2,500 patents. 

In addition, a Yahoo spokeswoman told Dow Jones the company is offering a smaller group of patents—500 U.S. patents and over 600 pending applications—as part of the auction of its core Web business. 

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