The Greenpeace International Smart 2020 study projects 4 billion PC devices will be in use worldwide by the year 2020. Emissions are expected to double as compared to 2007 levels, and the demand for information and communication technologies (ICT) services will rise exponentially, as India and China experience rapid economic growth. Sustainability measures to address the significant carbon footprint created by maintaining large data centers are integral to reduce emissions. Virtual private servers (VPS) offer promising green solutions, but some VPS are greener than others. Here is what to look for when choosing a VPS for your website or business.
Building and maintaining data centers to respond to increasing customer demand for ICT will necessarily involve continually working to offset negative effects with innovative and creative green technology and environmentally friendly operating practices.
To gain a better understanding of the physical footprint and the magnitude of impact that data centers have on the environment, consumers can take a tour of Goggle’s data center online.
Viewers will see massive cooling tubes used to control the temperature surrounding towering rows of servers. Eco-friendly processes that utilize sea water for cooling tubes in Finland and recycled water in Belgium are incorporated into the infrastructure to lessen harmful effects on the environment and enhance sustainability, Google’s senior director of data center construction and operations told eWeek journalist Todd R. Weist.
Finding a Responsible VPS
There is not a universal protocol for rating VPS providers and measuring sustainability or environmental impact. Comparing a multitude of factors to reach the bottom line that determines who has the most ecologically friendly system and practices is difficult without leveling the playfield.
The most efficient way to measure sustainability and environmental impact is through calculating transaction carbons—examining the efficiency of the process along with the machines used to complete the process, according to Salesforce.
Look for a services company that provides reliable, environmentally safe options, including these features:
- Dependable uptime. Linux VPS hosting from MyHosting.com guarantees 99.9 percent uptime with 24/7 support.
- Internal green practices. Companies that limit printing internal documents to absolutely necessary items required for compliance or communication reduce paper waste significantly, along with providing green VPS support.
- Wind energy credits. Providers committed to protecting the environment may choose alternative energy sources such as water and solar. Other companies purchase wind energy credits to offset the high-energy consumption required to operate a data center.
- Reducing fuel. Many companies support telecommuting when possible. This practice reduces fuel consumption of daily commutes and also eliminates the necessity of relocating employees from other regions to a central office.
- Utilizing resources wisely. Data centers that incorporate architectural design features that limit negative impact on the natural landscape and utilize water reclamation reduce potential harm to ecosystems in the surrounding area.
All indications are that businesses and consumers will rely more heavily on the Internet in the future. Virtual Web hosting providers must embrace technology and policy that supports the environment. Business owners can encourage that participation by choosing web hosting providers that actively pursue greener business practices.
Know of a VPS business you admire for its green practices? Join the discussion with your comments.