Post-pandemic, many businesses are gradually exploring new solutions that turn out to be not just more affordable, but also eco-friendly.
Climate change is a fact, one that not many people want to believe, but one that is slowly catching up to us. Climate change indicators have been spiking for the last decade and they will not cease until actions are taken. When you think of the internet and its endless possibilities, you’re surely unaware of the fact that it (indirectly) is becoming one of the main CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) producers up to date. How is it possible that the internet (a virtual construct) has any sort of pollutant impact on the “real” world? Let’s find out.
As it is in the nature of things, the internet has evolved from its simple texting imperative on to a (still) fleshing environment where people trade, play, communicate, watch videos, and many other things. This creates a massive amount of content creation, and thus also data storage. Enter Data Centers, the main mode of data storage and processing. While they are convenient and efficient, they also require huge amounts of energy to maintain the hardware cooling systems. This energy necessity has a substantial CO2 output, which of course, is not good for the environment. The harm caused by this CO2 production can’t be ignored, considering that by 2021 there are more than 7 million data centers worldwide.
To tackle this growing problem, going green was the inevitable result. Hosting companies have moved on to more eco-friendly solutions, which has proven to be both beneficial for the environment and affordable for the companies.
Webline-Services (for example) has decided to use energy-efficient hardware. This reduces cooling loads, and thus demands less energy from its providers. Ultimately, what happens is there’s less CO2 production and the hosting provider can offer better prices for their services.
Another solution presented by web hosts is to purchase their energy from companies that specialize in renewable energy. These energies include sunlight (electromagnetic radiation) through the use of solar panels, Eolic energy that uses wind turbines, and even Hydroelectric power. This step-back from fossil fuel burning seems to be catching up, as more and more clients prefer eco-friendly services.
Green computing is the study and implementation of eco-friendly computing practices. Its goals are to reduce the production of hazardous materials (keep in mind that we’ve been talking about CO2, but it is not the only byproduct pollutant out there), while exploiting energy efficient hardware and techniques.
This research area has become so important that some governments have started to institutionalize standards and regulations that promote it. Some of these regulations include (but are not limited to):
- Product longevity and recycling, to reduce waste production.
- Data center design, making emphasis on energy providers and waste heat recycling.
- Resource allocation.
- Cloud computing as an alternative for a Hybrid IT setup.
Our current situation has not stopped the digital growth of the internet. Post-pandemic circumstances will be needing even more clever solutions that adapt these changes.