Do you remember when we would add a note in our e-mail signatures asking recipients to consider the environment and not print the email unless necessary? This new way of working meant that digital was seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to paper.
Now, 10 to 15 years later, we've embraced digital both in our personal and professional lives. We stream films and music, we shop considerably more online than in high street shops.
As a business, your online presence is a vital marketing tool, your website is where your customers buy products or learn more about why they should do business with you. All of the data that you create and share is stored in data centres around the world which consume energy by being kept powered, secure, maintained and cooled.
How hosting is changing to lower digital waste?
As the number of connected devices and online services increases each year, so does the demand for electricity to support it. The servers powering these online services are held at data centres located across the globe. These data centres currently account for approximately 1% of the world's energy usage at 198 TWh.
It's estimated that in the coming years the workloads of data centres will increase by as much as 80%. Despite this increase, thanks to advancements in server and networking hardware combined with the growth of Virtualisation and Cloud Hosting services, overall energy requirements will reduce slightly.
Previously, if you needed hosting, you had your own dedicated hosting hardware in data centres which in most cases nowadays is a waste of energy resources. Now, this is being replaced by Cloud Hosting services.
A more energy-efficiency service
Virtualisation and Cloud Hosting is a more energy-efficient service which still gives you peace of mind of the same level of security as a dedicated solution. This allows you to create multiple virtual servers that are practically identical to multiple individual server setups, having the same resources available but without the need for your own private hardware, lowering your energy usage.
Data Centres are always looking for new ways to utilise sustainable energy sources and reduce their carbon footprint. A great example of this is Amazon Web Services (AWS), who have committed to achieving 100% renewable energy use and are already investing in Solar and Wind farms to power their Data Centres. They recently announced plans to build an additional wind farm in the Republic of Ireland, expanding their existing renewable energy infrastructure even further. These efforts from AWS could reduce the carbon footprint of cloud hosting by as much as 88% in comparison to dedicated hosting.
If you're looking for a greener, more energy-efficient (and in a lot of cases cheaper) way of hosting your website, you can play your part in lowering the digital space's carbon footprint by choosing cloud hosting.