When most people think about Web hosting, they think about prices and plans. Perhaps they consider operating systems and scalability. Few of them really think about where their data is stored or how those storage centres operate. This has changed a bit since Google released photos of its storage facilities in Europe and the United States. While not specifically a Web host, Google knows a lot about data storage and how to make it work. The company already uses some eco-friendly practices within its data centres, too.
Google’s data centres use a series of tightly-sealed blue pipes to deliver cool water through the system to cool the machines, in addition to hundreds of fans. The warmed water is then ported away through red pipes. Other hosts have adopted the water-cooling method because it’s more environmentally friendly.
There are other ways to have a lower carbon footprint that don’t specifically pertain to computers and data centres. Solar and wind power are suitable solutions for many businesses and even some homes. This is important for Web hosts and other tech companies that have entire warehouses full of computers that output high carbon emissions and use ridiculous amounts of electricity. Installing a wind turbine or two and outfitting the roof with solar panels means the storage facility is never fully dependent upon the local power company and is simultaneously doing less damage to the planet.
Some companies go the extra mile, allowing employees to telecommute from home and rigorously recycling paper in the office. Others, like GreenGeeks, even encourage employees to bring home-cooked meals to save the oil and emissions necessary for daily lunch trips.
Of course, going green benefits the company, too. When you build a data centre in a limestone cavern that absorbs the heat from the servers powering the servers that store customer’s websites, you can save on cooling costs. That equates to higher revenue. The same can be said of solar and wind initiatives. Data centres are big enough that a few solar cells are unlikely to completely offset power usage, but it can drastically cut the bill.
Furthermore, using water cooling techniques rather than blasting the air conditioning can be beneficial to the health of employees as some people experience negative reactions to being constantly blasted with freezing cold air that’s recycled. It’s not just company ethics that make going green a good idea. Web hosting companies can benefit from the financial benefits of being conscientious about the Earth.