The internet is a huge network of interconnected computers. Websites have to be available around the clock which means the server needs to run all hours of the day. All of these computers use an incredible amount of electricity, and this electricity must come from somewhere. Unfortunately, most of it is still produced from coal, oil and other fossil fuels. The reserves or deposits of fossil have been built by mother nature over millions of years and humans have nearly depleted them in just slightly over a century. In fact most has been burnt in the past 60 years.
This has already resulted in a significant rise in pollution. Experts believe that the CO2 emmisions that have followed will result in even more serious problems – for example global warming which could have devastating consequences.
We want to do our part in preventing this global problem which is why one of our greatest challenges is limiting the amount of electricity we use. We are always in the process of improving even further, but so far these are our most significant steps:
1. we choose energy efficient hardware of a high quality. This reduces the power consumption of each physical server as much as possible.
2. We have all our storage set up in a so-called SAN. This is a very effective step towards lower power consumption. It means we have significantly less wasted diskspace which in turn leads to fewer disks needing power at any given time.
3. All newer servers run as virtual servers on a few very powerful physical servers using load-balancing. This ensures that power is not wasted on keeping lots of inactive servers running. The virtual servers are able to share a few processors when the load is low, thereby using far less electricity. When needed the physical servers can handle the pressure by switching more processors on, but on the bottom line this setup saves more than 50% of the electricity that would have been used by regular individual servers!
We do not compromise when it comes to data safety or performance, but all of the above steps have been natural because they all result in a significant decrease in power consumption while leaving the quality level unaffected.
It’s only a matter of making conscious choices.