We have an interesting point to cover in this article. It answers this very question: How did we, as a fully managed server provider, go green overnight without even realizing it? Because we hope to reach out to a large audience, we will do our best to keep the technicals simple. If you are interested in reading about the technologies we deploy and that help reduce power consumption, please read about our Accelerate Your Server article. l We also hope you will find this article insightful and follow the recommendations herein.
The funny thing is that we didn’t realize we were being green until it hit us. As a fully managed server provider, we take it our responsibility to improve perceived Web site responsiveness at the browser; exactly where it matters most. The client could care less about the back-end as long as all runs smoothly. So we have complete freedom as to what technologies to deploy and what configurations to put in place; be it high performance request caching and/or high performance Web servers.
A typical Web site in the Internet is hosted on a server running a free Web server software that goes by the name Apache. Apache is a fully fledged, mature platform for hosting just about any script that exists such as WordPress blog, Joomla, Drupal, eCommerce, and forums. It has existed for more than a decade now. However, the fact that development of the platform has existed for this long makes it vulnerable to what is called in the software development circles “bloat.” It means that software code has piled up on top of code for generations. Software bloat leads to inefficiency, which brings us to our point.
Inefficiency is certainly bad news when it comes to server performance. Inefficiency means the processor is doubly taxed and is working overtime to do the work. Modern processors have the technology and smarts to be able to throttle their speed up and down should the demand fluctuate over time. So a throttled-down processor means its power consumption is at a low. Not to single out the processor, but inefficiency also means that the disk platters of the hard drive are rotating at their maximum speed, which generally means they are consuming more power to run. It doesn’t end there.
The spiral effect worsens because the server fans now are also rotating at their full speed and consuming as much power as they need to cool the processor and server components off. On the other hand, a green server is one that consumes the least electricity possible amongst other characteristics. But how does full server management help in keeping power consumption down?
Here is the gist of this article. After deploying many of these high performance and efficient software systems on clients’ dedicated servers, we realized that we were running the same systems with much less electricity! Deploying these modern platforms means that efficiency is at its highest. The processors, hard drives, fans, and other components are barely doing any noticeable work and are therefore keeping power consumption down to a minimum.
These efficient software components are therefore at the heart of becoming green and should be part of any provider’s strategy and tool arsenal. Before you decide to rent a fully managed dedicated server, be sure to ask your provider if they take advantage of one the free and modern Web servers like Nginx and/or caching engines like Varnish or Squid! These components are readily available for download and best of all they are free! There is always one or two things one could do to preserve mother earth.
That’s all folks! We hope you found this article useful.