An energy munching web site is sooo “last millennium.”
The world wide web runs on electricity, though we don’t usually think about it. But the fact is, without electricity you wouldn’t be reading this. You’d hunker down in front of the fireplace and read the newspaper by the dim light of a lamp fueled by whale oil. Sound like fun? It wasn’t. It was actually pretty boring compared to today’s instant information available only on the W3. If it happens any where – from Teheran to Terre Haute, it spreads virally across the digital landscape in seconds. That news bit also gobbles up electricity like nobody’s business.
The Internet is dependent on electricity, but the future of the Internet is not
So, the Internet is dependent on electricity, but the future of the Internet is not. The future of the Internet is changing and many IT providers are switching to renewable energy. And if you aren’t riding the crest of that wave, you will be left behind in the digital dust.
What are web hosts and why do they consume so much energy?
Conduct a Google search of web hosts and see what pops up. You’ll get 149,000,000 search results for web hosts. Now, not all of these SERP links are for actual web hosts. Some are for reviewing sites (that use web hosts), blogs about web hosts (that use a web host to get their blogs out to the masses) and even SERPs links to sellers, resellers and re-re-sellers of hosting services.
The Internet and Electricity
Hosting is a commodity on the web. You or I can buy space from a web host and open up our own hosting company. The mother host provides all the tools and support you need to build your own hosting company in the basement office. (The one that floods occasionally. Ooops.) A web host can be a kid down the street or it can be a huge, physical plant with chip heads tending to racks of servers, customer support taking calls from subscribers and office people tending to routine business matters – like paying the electric company.
Traditional hosts add to the demand for more energy by cooling servers with cold air. The server room in a hosting company is kept cool – so cool you could probably store sides of beef in there if the racks of servers didn’t take up so much space. That cooling requires energy and plenty of it.
What’s a server?
Well, in simplest terms, a server is not much more than a humongous hard drive in a box. Your web site (or future web site) resides on one of these server hard drives, along with hundreds of other web sites. Today, server disk space is measured in terabytes.
What is a data center?
A data center is an enormous storage facility that consumes incredible amounts of energy. A data center is a physical place that houses a computer network’s most critical systems, including backup power supplies, air conditioning, and security applications. Cooling a data center, as you can imagine, consumes a great deal of electricity. Each piece of equipment generates heat and must be kept cool. Recent studies found that the electricity consumed by data centers (where servers are stored) globally is equivalent to the production of 14 coal fired 1,000-megawatt power plants?
Coal-fired power plants
Aging coal-fired power plants take lives each year; many can be attributed to lung cancer — and nearly all of those deaths could be prevented if the United States government took a stronger stand and adopted stricter rules, according to a study that was released. Commissioned by several environmental groups and undertaken by a consultant used by the Environmental Protection Agency, the study released information that 22,000 of those deaths are preventable with currently available technology.
Coal-fired power plants kill as many as 34,000 Americans a year — that’s a child, mom, dad, or grandparent every 15 minutes. Every day that these plants operate is one more day that we, our friends, family and neighbors are exposed to toxic chemicals like mercury, lead and arsenic coming out of the smokestacks.
Support the Green Peace plan to quit coal and your donation will be used to support and train local community groups and activists to fight coal in their communities.
What’s driving the huge demand and consumption of dirty electricity?
From users, it’s their hunger for everything Web, from video on demand and music downloads to Internet telephony and more. But the good news is that the Internet is changing.
Things are changing on the W3
Now, along comes green hosting – hosting companies that employ “green” technology to lower the demand for electricity generated by coal- and gas-fired electricity generation plants. These businesses recognize that green hosting is inevitable as energy costs rise and we continue to pump tons of air-borne pollutants into the atmosphere every day.
Things ain’t going to get better, folks, unless our corporate culture does an about face and stops drawing down available energy. Major cities, like Los Angeles and Phoenix, already experience rolling blackouts as parts of the energy grid are shut down for a while. New York City broadcasts “please turn off your air conditioners” on the hottest summer days and brown-outs are almost routine.
Green hosting is leading the way in how U.S. businesses conduct on-line business by employing green sources of energy to power their servers. A green host doesn’t add to the demand for more electricity from traditional sources. Instead, these far-sighted companies employ new technology – solar power, wind power, deep core earth energy, hydro-electric (where available) and bio-fuels that can be regenerated with another harvest of corn.
Go green and get a little recognition at the same time. It’s a win-win!
Getting a little recognition on the W3 is hard, even in a niche market (especially in a niche market). You have less than 10 seconds to convince a site visitor to stick around long enough to learn about the quality of your services, your products or your message. Web surfers are jagged out on information overload. If they don’t see what they want to see on your home page or a landing page, they bounce.
Green certify your web site
So, making a statement about your corporate culture and your business’ core values has to happen in the blink of an eye. Green certify your web site. If you do not create a good first impression, your visitors will never even see the “About Us” page. So, create a good impression, but remember, you only have 10 seconds to make one.
An emblem or banner proclaiming that you employ green hosting makes an immediate statement about your on-line business. It says you care about the environment. It says you care about the future of the planet and our children and grandchildren who will populate Earth 25, 50 or 100 years from now.
Who said it isn’t easy being green? Today, green hosting makes a statement about you and your business – a positive statement. And with less than 10 seconds to make a good first impression, that “green” host emblem goes a long, long way in making the right statement quickly.
Yep, we get it. We’re green. Stick around and learn more.