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Brain Host – Eco-Friendly Web Hosting At Its Best

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As the demand for everything Internet-related increases, so too does the strain that the web host hosting industry puts on the environment. The industry has seen dramatic increases in the number of servers used in data centers as consumer demand grows, and low-end servers are quickly replacing the use of high-end, energy efficient servers.1

The Problem

Experts estimate that if the web hosting industry continues to increase its energy consumption at the current rate, then by 2020 the web hosting industry will be responsible for more pollution than the airline industry.2 In 2006 alone, web hosting data centers accounted for 1.5% of all US energy consumption – the equivalent of the amount of energy used by roughly 5.8 million US households.3

And it’s not just the toll on the environment that makes the web hosting industry’s excessive energy consumption a problem. As the need for more energy continues to increase, more power plants are required to meet the demand. This means that over the next few years, approximately 90% of web hosting companies could experience increased service interruptions because of power grid overloads.4

The Solution

It’s staggering statistics like these that have given rise to a new generation of eco-friendly web hosting solutions, and Brain Host is proud to be one of the leading providers of green web hosting.

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Energy Efficient Data Centers

Data centers are perhaps the main contributors to the web hosting industry’s energy consumption problem. Data centers are where the servers, computers, data storage devices, and other equipment used by web hosts are housed, and they consume huge amounts of energy (about 10 times more than that used by a typical commercial building5). Approximately half of the energy used by data centers is used for cooling (hot spots in data centers lead to service interruption). The majority of data centers are only used at 56% of their peak performance,6 which is extremely inefficient energy-wise.

At Brain Host, our data center is engineered using a special cold aisle/hot aisle configuration, which needs less cooling and thus helps to eliminate hot spots. This, coupled with our use of low voltage servers, helps us to lower our energy usage, prevent power overloads, and reduce service interruption.

Data centers are the main offenders when it comes to energy consumption and inefficiency. To see what impact data centers are having on our environment, and what companies are doing to combat this growing problem, check out this infographic.

Eco-Friendly Servers

Here at Brain Host, we strive to ensure that our policies are in line with EPA suggestions for improving energy efficiency. We begin with power-efficient hardware. According to the EPA, a typical web server requires 80 watts at peak power – our servers use only 40 watts. Whereas an average rack of servers uses roughly 20 kW of power, ours only use an average of 12.6 kW.

In addition, our servers are largely free from lead, halogen, and mercury. This helps to reduce water contamination, air pollution, and the production of chemical and solid wastes.

Other Ways to Help

We at Brain Host are always looking for more ways to reduce our carbon footprint and emphasize environmentally responsible business practices. We recycle all paper, ink, and toner cartridges, as well as glass and plastic bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard, and even old computers and cell phones. Whenever possible, we purchase green products and services.

Studies show that up to 75% of the energy used to power office electronics is actually used while the equipment is turned off. To combat this, Brain Host employees utilize energy-efficient power strips that allow users to turn off all power to the connected devices at the end of the day.

Besides that, Brain Host employees are encouraged to use natural sunlight whenever possible, instead of turning on their office lights. In a typical office building, artificial lighting consumes almost 25% of all electricity used, and in the US artificial lighting consumes the equivalent of almost half of all coal burned in the country.8
As we continue to grow as a company, our commitment to maintaining eco-friendly business practices will continue.

  1. Marianne Kolbasuk McGee (Feb. 15, 2007). “Data Center Energy Consumption Has Doubled Since 2000.” InformationWeek.
  2. Steve Lohr (May 1, 2008). “Data Centers Are Becoming Big Polluters, Study Finds”. New York Times.
  3. “Why Being Green Is Important.” Published on www.singlehop.com.
  4. “Why Being Green Is Important.” Published on www.singlehop.com.
  5. Steve Lohr (May 1, 2008). “Data Centers Are Becoming Big Polluters, Study Finds”. New York Times.
  6. Chris Robertson and Joseph Romm (June 2002). “Data Centers, Power, and Pollution Prevention.”
  7. Office Depot. “Top 20 Ways to Go Green at Work.” Published on www.washington.edu.

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