Working on BlueAdapt we are looking for a new server provider which uses 100% renewable energy sources. It is estimated that server infrastructure currently consumes over 1% of global energy use, and "the internet is responsible for around 3.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions."
This is needed to provide a redundant backup to our current server, so we need to use a different hosting company for this purpose. Essentially we're trying to make the tool we're building really robust, so it isn't ever down due to server problems. Having a second server means we can automatically redirect to that one if our main server goes down for any reason (as happened previously due to lightning).
This is a non-endorsed, more or less random list of hosting options (written in March 2023). We are looking for a simple Debian based 'Virtual Private Server' which provides us with a Linux based machine on which we can install whatever we need (i.e. root administrator access is provided).
Our needs, in vague order of priority:
- Running on 100% renewable energy - no carbon offsetting
- Privacy and security
- Reliability & uptime
- Low cost
The current Then Try This server is hosted here which "Runs on 100% Green Energy" - in Iceland, as geothermal is the default energy source there. Privacy laws stronger than EU, much more so than UK/US. We've had occasional downtimes due to "very unusual" lightning strikes (itself due to climate change) in Iceland. A fairly 'bare bones' provision, which suits us, but probably not everyone.
Virtual Private Server with 1984 is highly reliable and very stable. Our VPSs run on enterprise-level hardware in highly secure Icelandic data centers.
- Standard option: 8GB RAM, 4 CPU, 160GB DISK, 5TB TRANSFER(tx+rx)
- £32 per month
- Cheapest option for comparison: 1GB RAM, 1 CPU, 25GB DISK, 1TB TRANSFER(tx+rx)
- £4 per month
Datacenter light (Switzerland)
A Zerocarbon Swiss VPS running on "99.9%" hydroelectric, fairly expensive, used extensively by Extinction Rebellion.
Zero Carbon: we operate with 100% renewable power* from the Alps. We do not offset carbon emission: we are zero carbon emission. Sustainable: we reuse existing factory halls instead of building everything new & use recycled hardware. Safe: our servers are all located in the Alps of Switzerland - protected by the fierce Swiss privacy laws.
- Standard option: 8GB RAM, 4 CPU, 160GB DISK
- 102 CHF/month (£90.48)
- Cheapest option: 1GB RAM, 1 CPU, 10GB DISK
- 12.5 CHF/month (£11.10)
A UK provider - not the best location for privacy. Uses Native energy. Also mentions climate offsetting, and uses Cloudflare, which is problematic: "Cloudflare provided DNS routing and DDoS protection for the white supremacist and neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer."
Our global operations are powered entirely by renewable energy. Our UK datacentre uses 100% green sourced power as specified by E.ON and as regulated by Ofgem, and our US facility uses 100% renewable energy, as certified by Green-e.
- Standard option: 4GB RAM, 4 CPU, 150GB DISK
- £64.99 per month
- Cheapest option: "Solo, shared": 10GB DISK
- £6.99 per month
UK provider - not the best location for privacy. Unclear exactly where the energy is coming from.
100% renewable energy: We’ve partnered with renewable energy suppliers and cloud partners to ensure that our web hosting, cooling and network is powered by 100% renewable energy.
The office complex is powered by 2,088 solar panels, which offset thousands of tonnes of carbon each year.
- Standard option: 8GB RAM, 6 CPU, 100GB DISK
- £49.99 per month
- Cheapest option: 1GB RAM, 1 CPU, 25GB DISK
- £9.99 per month
Greenhost (The Netherlands)
EU location, sustainability claimed via the Iron Mountain data centre, a complex situation that takes a little digging to figure out, but seems plausible. Doesn't really say where the energy is actually coming from.
Iron Mountain (formerly Evoswitch) located near Amsterdam is our main infrastructure provider. We host over 20,000 websites on our own hardware colocated in the data centre.
We are firm in our commitment to renewable energy and sustainable data centers. Our facilities are powered by 100% renewable energy, and our customers can take credit for the green energy that Iron Mountain buys on their own sustainability reporting with Green Power Pass.
More on Green Power Pass:
Green Power Pass is underpinned by Future of Internet Power (“FoIP”) standards, a consortium that includes contributors from public reporting agencies like CDP and WRI. The FoIP white paper defines how colocation providers are to procure and deliver renewable power to their facilities in order to claim their power as renewable and enable the recognized transfer of green power to customers.
- Standard option: 8GB RAM, 4 CPU, 20GB DISK, 20TB TRANSFER
- €46.40 per month
- Cheapest option: 1GB RAM, 1 CPU, 5GB DISK
- €6.20 per month
Location bad for privacy, but energy model means you can select an EU data centre. Mentions tree planting. Plausible energy claims:
GreenGeeks has been recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency since 2009 as a Green Power Partner. We work with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) in Portland, Oregon. "BEF" is a Green-e Partner. We tell BEF how many servers, personnel, etc. that we have and they calculate our yearly energy consumption and carbon footprint. We then have BEF purchase RECs 3 times as much than we have consumed, and we put that energy back into the grid.
- Standard option: 4GB RAM, 4 CPU, 75GB DISK, 10TB TRANSFER
- $59.95 per month
- Cheapest option: 2GB RAM, 4 CPU, 50GB DISK, 10TB TRANSFER
- $39.95 per month
Krystal is a B Corp which is a big plus, UK servers are powered by Ecotricity, and while not specified for the US or EU we emailed them to check, and those datacentres are also 100% renewable, although there are no details provided. The Netherlands would be a good option for privacy.
In 2017 we became one of the first hosts to be powered by 100% renewable energy - no vague carbon offsets, just a direct relationship between our datacentre and Ecotricity to power the facility with energy generated by 100% renewable sources.
- Standard option: 4GB RAM, 2 CPU, 50GB DISK
- £28.99 per month
- Cheapest option: 1GB RAM, 1 CPU, 25GB DISK
- £11.99 per month