What Does Green Hosting Really Mean?

It is now common for web hosting companies to make a bit deal of their green credentials, but what exactly are they talking about? Does it mean these companies, who usually have a high demand for power to keep their data centers operating, are all using wind-power or solar panels? Are these claims for ‘greenness’ more than just an advertising gimmick? If you are concerned about the impact of humans on the environment, you’ll probably want some answers to these questions.

Why Does Web Hosting Need to be Green?

If you have your own website, it might not be obvious how this could have an impact on the environment. After all, it’s not like you see the internet belching out toxic fumes. The reality is that there is a lot going on behind the scenes to keep our website online that most of us don’t think much about. Unless you have your own dedicated server at home, you are probably going to use a shared server or managed server, and this means that you will be depending on a data center to take care of your online content.

Data centers are full of racks containing servers, storage devices, and other IT equipment. All of this computer machinery not only requires a lot of power, but it also generates a great deal of heat. This means data centers also use a lot of power for refrigeration because if these devices are not kept cool, they are going to become damaged. The fact this type of business requires so much energy means the choices made about where this energy comes from is going to impact the environment.

What does it mean for Web Hosting to Be Green?

The problem with needing a lot of electricity to keep data centers functioning is that it can potentially lead to the creation of carbon which is damaging the environment. One way to avoid this would be to choose electricity that is created from non-carbon producing methods such as wind farms. Other options for improving the green credentials of data center would be to choose devices that require less energy. Some of the most exciting innovations in green hosting is the use of natural resources for cooling data centers – for example, using the outside air during the winter or taking advantage of cool water in nearby rivers or even the sea.

There are many web hosting businesses that are making a serious effort to reduce their impact on the environment. These efforts can make a significance difference, so it does make sense to consider the green credentials of a web host. It is also important to keep in mind that these companies can save money by being greener, and they can pass on these savings to customers.

 

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