Solar Web Hosting Company Powers Live Earth Sites

The Web hosting company chosen to power the Web sites for this weekend's Live Earth concerts adopts an environmentally friendly business plan: Let the sunshine in.

Affordable Internet Services Online Inc. (AISO) has been hired to power the Web sites from its 100 percent solar-powered Web hosting facility in Romoland, California, north of San Diego.

The company's green philosophy fits with the theme of the concerts to raise awareness of the issue of global climate change.

The concerts are to be held around the clock July 7 in Shanghai, Tokyo, London, New York and other cities. Organizers of the Live Earth event say the concert venues will be carbon neutral, with electricity to power musicians' amplifiers and microphones coming from renewable energy sources.

AISO has been using the renewable energy of the sun to power its data center since 2001, said Phil Nail, chief technology officer for the 10-year-old company.

AISO will operate two Live Earth sites, one for the concert and the other to track pledges. Live Earth is not seeking financial donations but asks people to pledge to adopt a carbon-neutral lifestyle.

The company installed 14 IBM Corp. BladeCenter servers powered by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Opteron dual-core processors to host the sites. Each of the servers uses about 142 watts of electricity, which Nail considers more energy efficient than average. Low-end servers, including blades, run at an average of 218 watts and midrange servers at an average of 638 watts, according to figures from a 2007 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study.

Because these are the first Live Earth concerts, organizers have no idea how much traffic to expect at the Web sites, he said. The concert will be televised and viewers will be invited to make pledges on the AISO-hosted pledge sites. Later, the names of those who pledged will appear on TV.

Other Web hosting companies advertise themselves as "green," Nail said, but they often simply buy carbon offsets rather than actually improve their own energy efficiency. Affordable Internet also has installed solar tubes, shafts that run from the roof of a building to the ceiling in a room, to light the data center's interior. It also irrigates a rooftop garden with recycled water from the data center's cooling system.

Affordable Internet, with 15,000 customers, has attracted prospective customers from as far away as the U.K. to host their Web sites because they are seeking out carbon-neutral hosting services.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Related:
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.