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Debbi Cole

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Dedicated Servers, Cloud Servers, Colocation - Can You Go Green?

The law, green servers and the bottom line

One of the big issues facing our industry is the pressure to go green. In fairness I use the word "pressure" in the loose kind of way simply because in actuality at the moment Green costs more and if something costs more shareholders and company directors don't like it. In America up until recently a company could actually get sued by shareholders are doing something that could be seen as detrimental to the bottom line. That does seem a bit harsh, and I'm glad that they now have changed it to enable company directors and CEOs to make greener decisions that may affect profit margins. However I think we're looking at the wrong question here, what we should be looking for is the solution where going green doesn't cost more.

Is the Internet green?Are the Yellow Pages wasteful?
People talk about how things like telephone directories such as Yellow pages are non-ecological and it seems obviously much more green to search on the Internet. Actually how true is this? Google, Yahoo and Bing all have dedicated servers running 24 hours a day seven days a week in hot places like Palo Alto and California where the need for air conditioning is much higher and the power consumption is compounded by the use of cooling. This consumes a huge amount of electricity... a telephone directory does not need to be plugged into the electricity. It is interesting that currently there is a lot of directory bashing going on... (mainly buy new directory replacement websites I might add) but think about it once it is made. it lasts a year and sits on the sideboard next to the telephone. All of us in the industry are keeping very quiet about how un-green your average search on Google is... (the same way Starbucks is keeping very quiet about the detrimental effects of caffeine- but at least you have the choice of decaffeinated...) Of course we're never going back in that direction the idea that the phone directory will still be around in five or 10 years is A complete fallacy.

Decaffeinated servers
It is really an issue of supply and demand like many things... it looks like it's down to straight economics, but sometimes it boils down to the sheer lack of choice. The public and corporations are keeping so much more data in the cloud these days.... and companies like us who furnish them with dedicated server space that they need are really stuck in the middle. People do want greener servers... the issue is not that greener servers are unavailable... lets face it a server more or less is a server apart from innovations in low power processing. And to be fair as an IT Department you can make the choice to invest in them...but really it is an issue for the power providers and central government.

Green electricity
The question really is why is there such a lack of choice of green power? And then when it is available why, if the government says it wants to be green, is it so much more expensive?

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Debbi Cole Has worked in the IT industry for eight years and specifically for Server Space for 5 years. She is a keen advocate of cloud hosting, cloud servers and Green data centre issues.

Debbi was a keen motorcycle enthusiast but has since given it up for the safer pass time of Yacht racing although both the weather and professional commitments severely restrict her opportunity to pursue this pass-time.