Ask the Readers: Can Plone be Green-Powered?

By Posted in - Pursuits on September 4th, 2007 3 Comments

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Data centres consume vast amounts of energy, and the situation is only getting worse. Luiz Andre Barraso of Google stated in a published paper last year that every gain in performance has been accompanied by a proportional increase in overall platform power consumption. ZDNet UK reports that the average energy costs of running a data centre in the UK will double over the next five years. The European Commission is now considering a voluntary code of conduct on energy efficiency for data centre operators to help address this issue.

No wonder consumers are looking for greener hosting choices. A potential client of mine is interested in hosting his site with a provider that uses green energy. This interests me as well, in my pursuit of leaving a smaller footprint on our planet.

The one he found uses 100% renewable energy (wind and solar), plants a new tree for each client, and believes in social responsibility through how they work, including telecommuting and a mostly paperless office. Unfortunately, their offerings aren’t suitable for Plone, and that is the same story with every other hosting provider I found, including ones listed at TreeHugger.com. If there is a “green” option out there for Plone, I haven’t found it.

So, is there an option for environmentally conscious organizations / individuals who want their Plone site consuming less of our natural resources? Let me know by posting your comments.

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(3) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • bitmonk -

    September 5, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    Howdy Gerry!

    I posted a response to plone-users before reading your request to respond to your blog. Rackspace, a managed hosting provider who leases dedicated / managed servers, has undertaken some greenification efforts, and our non-profit hosting co-operative is working to move our shared plone cluster to the Rack. This is one of the reasons. We’d be more than happy to work with your needs, we are a group of professionals cooperatively maintaining the resources our clients depend on to lower costs and raise the quality of service for all involved.

    Cheers!

  • cjj -

    September 13, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Gerry,

    I don’t think there is much in the way of really sustainable hosting options in the market these days…there are some who get the green part (even fully solar powered) but suck at the service part. Then there are a lot who buy energy offset / green credits, which is great, but is sustainability “light” imho. (Our version is to do carbon offsetting for the company, including hosting operations, by planting trees – with the help of our clients. It makes for a fun and rewarding education + environmentally friendly activity. I think we have planted about 120 trees so far…and gearing up for a new round this fall! http://www.ifpeople.net/sustainability/carbon ).

    Anyway, if you want to get inspired about green data centers…check this out: RMI did a charrette on this…The result of this charrette was a data center design concept that reduces energy demand by an order of magnitude (89 percent) compared to today’s standard designs, while providing equivalent computing power and greater reliability. I have a hard copy of the study if you ever come through Atlanta (on your favorite form of carbon neutral travel, of course;).

    Cheers,
    Chris

  • gerrykirk -

    October 14, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Bitmonk, sounds like a great offering you have. I’ll have to get more information from you.

    Chris, I see you are taking the “tree by the branches” approach. That’s a great idea as well, especially when there aren’t decent options out there.

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