Web hosting infrastructure is a mammoth energy guzzler primarily because of the number of servers and electronic paraphernalia that occupy data centres, which are the ultimate destination of stored data. While servers need enormous amounts of power to keep them active eternally, the data centres require to be maintained at cooler temperatures to offset the heat generated from multiple servers housed within them. With the trend of data digitisation catching up fast with business houses, demand for more servers is on the rise.
Low-end servers are now giving way to high-end, efficient and energy conserving server units that optimise energy usage and heat generation, bringing down the cooling requirements of datacentres. Hosting companies have begun to adopt eco-friendly servers that are low on mercury, lead, halogens and other hazardous components, reducing the levels of pollutants that may be released when the e-waste gets disposed later in time.
Renewable Power Sources
Data centres have begun to adopt sustainable and renewable sources of power to illuminate and cool office premises as the power requirements of a corporate office are limited when compared to that of the storage aisles that house the servers. By switching to wind, solar or biogas mediums to generate at least a part of the power consumed in office premises, data centres will not only be able to reduce their dependency on power generated from conventional fossil fuel but can also earn in renewable energy credits or incentives that can be traded later.
Data centres also make the most of natural sunlight and ventilation wherever possible leading to optimal use of artificial lighting. Intelligent use of other electronic equipment at the office conserves power, while adequate measures to ensure systematic shut down of power at office premises at the end of the working day minimise any accidental waste of energy.
Reducing paperwork, using recycled stationery, suitable recycling and disposal of e-waste have helped reduce impact of data centres on the environment. In addition to official stationery and computers, data centres have also made attempts to gather and recycle cardboard boxes, plastic and glass bottles, and aluminium cans, most probably from their canteens.
Going green again is associated with some additional costs and companies that offer green hosting services may charge a tad higher than the rest. The price paid, however, serves a social cause.