Datacenters consume a lot of energy keeping all those servers on and online. Energy is not only consumed by servers but also in HVAC to keep electronics cool, backup energy sources such as batteries and generators, lighting, etc. That's why many providers are going "Green hosting", meaning that they use methods and technologies to reduce CO2 emissions, such as wind generators, cloud hosting to reduce server idle resources, solar panels, etc. That is green hosting.
Some hosting companies claim to power their datacenters using wind. FatCow is an example. Their homepage says "Powered by 100% Wind Energy". They also have graphics of windmills at the bottom of the page. Though, I don't see any mention of the word "green". Even if they're telling the truth, that word seems gimmicky to me.
Thanks for your replies. I have also found related info on wikipedia and sharing here as well for others: Green or Eco-friendly website hosting is a recent addition to the field of website hosting which involves a given website hosting company attempting to prove that they are not having any negative impact on the environment in an attempt to attract consumers.
1. a DC in the UK owned by a water & sewage utility, which generates much of it's own power from sewage sludge biomass (methane coming from the sludge used to power turbines to create electricity)
2. Us! All the power on the main Icelandic power grid comes from hydro or geo-thermal sources, so any DC in Iceland has zero carbon emissions from their power sources.
I'm sure someone will tell me if I am wrong, but I believe that all the 'wind-powered' DCs are simply buying so-called green electricity - there are plenty of debates elsewhere regarding the real effectiveness of this.
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One datacenter near me has their server racks placed in such a way that the heat can be collected from them and then forced back through the HVAC system to heat the rest of the building. I guess that would be a good example of "green" hosting.
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It's Datacentres & or hosts who use these DCs that are powered by renewable energy sources.
It doesn't matter whether your buying the power from a energy supplier that produces energy from a renewable source or you do DIY with a windmill on your DC roof with backup from a green electricity supplier - it's all about reducing your energy from non-renewable sources.
It's not a gimmick it's a genuine pro-active & concerted effort at reducing & or eliminating your reliance on non-renewable sources.
Better than doing nothing & promotes innovation IMHO
Well it comes down the word green i guess. Little physics lesson for you all.
Energy is never created nor destroyed. Simply transfered. If you can make use of all that energy in various different forms of its state. (From Wind/Hydro > Create electrictiy to power servers > servers create heat which is then used to heat the rest of the building) That is a good way to describe green. Its original input is renewable engery (no carbon emmissions) and its off product from the servers is still used to heat the building.