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What is a Data Center? (A Basic Guide)   1 comment

Posted at Sep 19, 2017 @ 11:15am New York Datacenter

What is a Data Center?

You don’t have to be a tech startup to benefit from ready access to your data. Digital information is becoming increasingly important to companies of all sizes in all kinds of industries. Data centers let you store, modify, access and back up your data safely, reliably and economically. Here’s how they work and why they might be right for your organization.

 

Data Center Basics

Data centers are dedicated physical facilities that house the networked computer equipment that contains your information. Although their design varies, the majority include some of the following common elements:

 

Servers

Servers are computers made to be constantly running. Unlike your personal desktop or laptop, most servers are headless, meaning that they lack monitors, keyboards and other interfaces that facilitate direct human interaction. Instead, they connect to other servers and clients via local network and internet connections. For instance, when you access your favorite websites, you’re really sending a request to a remote server that responds with the information needed to display the pages you want.

 

Racks

Servers are made to be compact, and racks let you stack armies of them in a small space. Racks may house their own cooling devices and monitoring components. Some even include custom components, vibration absorbing materials and soundproofing elements. Rack units come in a number of standardized sizes made for various equipment. Their design makes it possible to mount shared power units, route cables neatly and install servers in a fashion that permits free air flow.

 

Network Infrastructure

Linking servers together requires more than just network cables. Like the home or office networks that you might be familiar with, these systems require switches, routers, firewalls and other connecting hardware that controls the flow of data and permits secure external access between a remote client and a server. Most data centers feature redundant network connections from multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs), allowing them to have a bandwidth capacity of more than 10,000x that of a typical office cable internet connection. This redundancy also allows some data centers the ability to offer Network Uptime Guarantees or Service Level Agreements (SLA) to their clients.

 

Environmental Systems

Even though racks and servers commonly have their own local cooling fans and ducts, all of the heat that they cast off has to end up somewhere. Cooling systems ensure that your data center doesn’t turn into a hot sauna by circulating air inside the facility, controlling moisture levels and exchanging heat using an air conditioner or similar device. These systems must be capable of constantly running since servers generate significant heat even when they’re not chugging along at full steam. Temperature management is one of the most important aspects of operating a data center. Proper cooling saves expensive equipment from overheating, shutting down unexpectedly or sustaining permanent damage.

 

Performance Monitoring Equipment

How do you know when your office server is running smoothly? Although checking your website is one option, it’s not very effective at stopping problems in advance. Performance monitoring devices featured in data centers let engineers observe the conditions in their facilities to ensure that everything is going according to plan. Tracking different variables, such as temperatures, power usage, and network activity give data centers deeper insights into the overall performance of your company’s servers, allowing them to take specific actions in case of problematic conditions.

 

Power Infrastructure

Most data centers feature power distribution units, or PDUs, and components like uninterruptible power supplies, or UPS, that continue providing electricity in case of blackouts. Data centers will also incorporate backup generators to ensure continuous power is delivered to your IT equipment in the event of a disaster which wipes out local utility power. Some data centers will even take an environmentally-conscious approach by leveraging green, clean energy via solar and hydro electric power.

 

Why Are Data Centers the Standard?

Data centers have come to dominate a landscape once populated with in-office server racks and general-purpose computer networks. While these elements still play roles in many business models and processes, their fall from prominence reflects a number of advantages that only data centers can claim.

Because they’re specifically designed to store servers and keep them running safely even if your office network goes down, professional data centers offer benefits such as:

  • High availability, or the tendency for your website or company data to be accessible at all times
  • Robust servers and networking hardware that can easily be scaled up or down
  • Physical security brought about by the face that many facilities control who comes and goes
  • Network security that meets modern and certified standards
  • Faster network connections that provide quicker backups and more pleasant user experiences
  • Fire, flood, and other forms of disaster recovery and mitigation for business continuity
  • 24×7 IT Support Staff

 

Could Your Organization Benefit From a Data Center?

It may seem tempting to do everything in-house, especially if you’ve already invested in your own servers or a computer room. Although some organizations don’t need dedicated data centers, many are leveraging the advantages to propel their enterprises forward in a business ecosystem that’s only growing more digitized.

Do you want your site to be accessible at any time from any location in the world? Are you prepared to replace your critical network infrastructure in the event of a disaster? How much are you spending on facility power? While there’s definitely a call for keeping some computing hardware local and maintaining your own IT staff, data centers make it possible to reduce operating overhead and increase reliability in these and many other areas.

For organizations that depend on data to power their decision-making, connect users and get work done, the choice is clear. To learn more about incorporating data centers into your business model, contact TurnKey Internet today!

 

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Written by David Maurer on September 19th, 2017

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Datacenters vs. In-Office Server Rooms   no comments

Posted at Aug 1, 2017 @ 10:27am colocation

Datacenters vs. Server Room

Businesses of all sizes need to be online in order to stay competitive and grow. Initially, most businesses relied on building their own online IT infrastructure, by converting a spare room or space in their office or even their home, into a “Server Room.” There was no thought of cooling systems or ventilation. No notion of backup power systems, or any real working order was to be found in these Server Rooms.

Today, businesses need their operations to run with super speeds, be secure, maintained, monitored, and most of all be redundant. To achieve this, businesses are moving away from on-site or in-office server rooms and instead are utilizing Datacenters.

Here are some of the key advantages to a Datacenter, a Server Room does not have:

 

Security and Monitoring

Most Server Rooms do not have a high volume of security. Besides the buildings overall security, there may be a lock on the Server Room door. Datacenters pride themselves in the security features they offer. All entrances and exits are secured with a key coded entry system, as well as alarms. Not just alarms for entry. Alarms for temperature control, air pressure, fire suppression, etc. Datacenters also have network cameras, accessible to their staff and security team in a needed event. The racks or cages the servers are housed in are all individually locked and are only opened for pre-authorized individuals or by the datacenter staff, if needed.

 

Bandwidth

What good is your server if you have a fixed bandwidth rate? Most in-office Server Rooms are capped off and limited by their ISP as they are using a residential internet service. Datacenters do not use any type of residential internet service and are able to set their own bandwidth limits.

 

Backup Power

If there is a power failure at your business, do you have a backup power plan? Most Server Rooms run from the same power source, as the full office. Making your sites and servers go down if there is ever a power failure. Datacenters have a plan for any type of failure. When it comes to power failures, most datacenters have battery backups, automatically triggered if the main power supply is not responding. When the system sees the backup batteries are being utilized, another backup power source is engaged, the generator. At this point the battery backups turn off and all power is controlled by the generator until normal power is restored.

 

Affordability

With a Server Room, you are accumulating all the costs that go along with it. You may have had to cut advertising short or possibly even lay off good employees as the costs to maintain and house your IT equipment have risen. At a datacenter all those costs are tied into your package and at a much, much lower cost.

 

Controlled Environment

Datacenters control the cooling and humidity – to a precise and perfect level to keep your equipment running as long as possible.  Storing equipment in non-conditioned environmental space like your server room or office closet will shorten the life of your equipment significantly (meaning it will cost you real money to replace broken equipment sooner).  Electronics are sensitive to things like electrical and static shock, which occur due to improper humidity (moisture) and you can even find corrosion on the electronics in some poor environmental conditions.  Its crucial if you have valuable equipment to store it in a properly humidified and cooled location like a datacenter.

 

Some modern datacenters, like TurnKey Internet’s Green Datacenter , offer one additional benefit ontop of everything above. Your IT equipment and servers consume less energy in terms of cooling and power draw in a modern green-focused datacenter – and in TurnKey Internet’s datacenter your equipment consumes energy provided by only by the Sun (on-site solar array) and Water (Hydro power) providing zero carbon foot prints for your IT infrastructure versus having it at your office.

 

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Written by David Maurer on August 1st, 2017

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Crane Day: TurnKey Internet’s 2016 Expansion Continues   no comments

Posted at Sep 14, 2016 @ 8:45am New York Datacenter

cranedayTurnKey Internet’s latest expansion of our New York Datacenter continues on with “Crane Day”

This year’s “Crane Day” included upgrades to our datacenter’s cooling system with the installation of new equipment on the roof (right next to all of our awesome solar panels!)

These upgrades will help keep all of the servers located in our newest POD expansion running nice and cool.

To check out some additional photos from “Crane Day” visit our Facebook page here!

More 2016 Expansion updates will be coming soon!

 

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Written by David Maurer on September 14th, 2016

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Ditch the Messy Server Room and Move to Colocation   no comments

Posted at Jan 5, 2016 @ 9:13am colocation

messy-server-room-wiringIn the late 80s /early 90s times where starting to change, this wonderful technology era we live in now was just beginning. Businesses now, need to be online in order to stay competitive and grow with this new age.

Like most business a Server Room was built, in a spare room or space in your office or home and today now resembles a pile of mis-colored wires that you could spend days trying to untangle. You purchased equipment that easily fit into your budget, and your team was able to configure the networking without any troubles. This setup was the same in all business across the board. In the beginning of this era, you could get away with this. There was no thought of cooling systems or ventilation. No notion of backup power systems, or any real working order was to be found in your Server Room.

Once again, the era of technology has changed. Businesses need their operations to run with super speeds, be secure, maintained, monitored, and most of all be redundant. The terms Server Room and Data Center could once be used interchangeably, no longer can they now.

A Server Room can be any room, in any building that houses servers. Whereas a Data Center, is a whole building designed to support and provide a secure, power protected, environmentally controlled space, used for accommodating servers, networking, and computer equipment.

 

Some of the key points to a Data Center, a Server Room does not have.

Security and Monitoring:

Most Server Rooms do not have a high volume of security. Besides the buildings overall security, there may be a lock on the Server Room door.

Data Centers pride themselves in the security features they offer. All entrances and exits are secured with a key coded entry system, as well as alarms. Not just alarms for entry. Alarms for temperature control, air pressure, fire / water control, ect. All Data Centers have network cameras, accessible to their staff and security team in a needed event. The cores / racks the servers are housed in are all locked. Only opened when your team needs to visit or by the Data Center staff, if needed.

Connectivity:

What good is your server if you have a fixed bandwidth rate? Most Server Rooms are capped off by their ISP as they are using a residential internet service.

Data Centers do not use any type of residential internet service and most times are able to set the bandwidth limits as they are needed by the server.

Redundancy:

If there is a power failure at your business, do you have a backup power plan? Most Server Rooms run from the same power source, as the full office. Making your sites and servers go down if there is ever a power failure.

Data Centers have a plan for any type of failure. When it comes to power failures, most Data Centers have battery backups, automatically triggered if the main power supply is not responding. When the system sees the backup batteries are being utilized, another backup power source is engaged, the generator.   At this point the battery backups turn off and all power is controlled by the generator until normal power is restored.

Affordability:

With a Server Room, you are accumulating all the costs that go along with it.  You may have had to cut advertising short or possibly even lay off good employees as the costs to maintain and house your equipment have risen. At a Data Center all those costs are tied into your package and at a much, much lower cost.

 

Environment:

Datacenters control the cooling and humidity – to a precise and perfect level to keep your equipment running as long as possible.  Storing equipment in non-conditioned environmental space like your server room or office closet will shorten the life of your equipment significantly (meaning it will cost you real money to replace broken equipment sooner).  Electronics are sensitive to things like electrical and static shock, which occur due to improper humidity (moisture) and you can even find corrosion on the electronics in some poor environmental conditions.  Its crucial if you have valuable equipment to store it in a properly humidified and cooled location like a datacenter.

 

Green (going Green):

Some modern datacenters, like TurnKey Internet’s Green Datacenter , offer one additional benefit ontop of everything above.  Your IT equipment and servers consume less energy in terms of cooling and power draw in a modern green-focused datacenter – and in TurnKey Internet’s datacenter your equipment consumes energy provided by only by the Sun (on-site solar array) and Water (Hydro power) providing zero carbon foot prints for your IT infrastructure versus having it at your office.

 

Our offices do not look anything like they did 20 years ago. Our businesses are not what they were 20 years ago. Most companies have employees living all around the world, remoting in for work. Your administrative staff is no longer dependent on white out, typewriters, and filing cabinets. You attend conferences and meetings by using a phone, tablet, or even your watch. The majority of your business is conducted over email and most of your sales are placed through your website. In order to keep up with these growing times, we now need to ditch the Server Room and head to the Data Center.

 

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Earth Day And Your Datacenter – Green Is Not What It Used To Be   no comments

Posted at Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:29pm New York Datacenter

Turnkey_Internet-16As we enter into the 45th anniversary of Earth day on April 22nd, 2015 – many business, organizations and individuals will take additional time to reflect on their impact on our environment and the contributions we can all make to a sustainable future.  Organizations like EarthDay.org help spear head awareness, and direct action options we can all consider in our own lives to be more ‘Green’.

The term “Green”, “Being Green” or “Going Green” all have multiple variations and meanings, but in general we all accept that it means to help sustain the environment in some fashion.  many years ago the Earth Day movement started more with a focus about recycling and has involved today into awareness of sustainability by reducing overall carbon foot prints through less consumption (and output of non-renewable resources to produce the goods and/or power we consume).

 

One of the largest non-green impacting areas we see are those electronic devices like our smart phones, laptops, office computers and computer servers.  Believe it or not , your trusty iphone consumes more energy than a refrigerator (see this article for the power comparison math by time magazine) – and while desktop computers at least have power save modes that often can reduce their usage, they still consume (and impact the environment) roughly the same as 4500 miles driven per year of a typical US car.  Computer servers are the worst offenders of the bunch, running 24 x 7 and consuming maximum energy all the time to keep your email, files, and web sites running all the time even when we are asleep.

Those high energy consuming computer servers, and in some cases office desktop PC’s, can all be moved to the cloud through cloud-based servers and virtual desktop PC’s.  It may not seem obvious, but moving your typical computer servers and desktop pc’s into the cloud can make a huge impact.  While datacenters can consume massive amounts of energy to keep those cloud based servers running 24 hours a day, and especially the massive industrial air conditioning and redundant power systems in place to support these facilities – the fact is that datacenters can be scaled up to effectively utilize the best of class options to be efficient and sourced from green energy to substantially reduce or in fact zero their entire carbon foot print.  And if you house your computer servers and desktops in a cloud based environment in such a datacenter, you effectively reduce your impact on our environment significantly.

TurnKey Internet’s Green datacenter was built to have an effective carbon foot print of zero  – sourcing all its power from a massive On-Site Solar Array and Hydro-Electric power provided from New York’s Recharge New York System, on top of the most cutting edge power efficiency and datacenter cooling technology.  TurnKey Internet has been focused on Green on our state of the art datacenter and won the New York State Environmental Excellence award and The U.S. Federal Government’s Environmental Protection Agency awarded the facility the 2nd only New York Energy Star Certified Datacenter designation.  So from our stand point green is about minimizing or having zero impact on the environment- and more so, we are helping businesses take their office servers and computers, and other IT into the cloud to minimize their carbon foot prints too.

 

Here are some pictures of TurnKey’s cold containment systems that provide the frame work of our ultra efficient cooling systems, just one piece in the multi tiered efforts we have in keeping forth in our mission for a Greener world, and Green Datacenter.

 

https://turnkeyinternet.net/datacenters/new-york/latham/

Turnkey_Internet-35Turnkey_Internet-40

Turnkey_Internet-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Earth Day, take a look around your home or office – and see what small changes you can do to help improve your impact on the world.

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Earth Day Means Thinking about the Earth and being Green Every Day   no comments

Posted at May 8, 2014 @ 10:49am green,Web hosting

turnkey internet greend datacenterHowdie do Turnkey lovers,

 

Do you ladies and gentleman know what Tuesday, April 22nd 2014 is all about? Don’t worry, you don’t have to pull out your almanac or open Google to find what’s so special about, Tuesday, April 22nd 2014. The day was EARTH DAYYYYY!!!! Ok, you may not be as excited as I am about Earth day, but it’s a day that is lauded as the day for the environment.  This could be going out to help with cleaning up an old playground or maybe picking up trash on the side of the road. Literally, anything that is good for the environment is appreciated on this day. Hey, you may even find your garbage man may have a little bit of pep to his or her step.

 

Ok, ok that may be a bit overboard about the garbage man, but it is a day where support for environmental protection is at an all time high. Now, you may be saying, “This is a webhosting company, why do they care about Earth Day?” Well my friend, almost every day at Turnkey Internet is some form of Earth day. How? How can everyday at Turnkey Internet be a version of Earth day? Well to answer that question, I  must first ask a question back to you

 

  1. Do you have electricity in your home/workplace that you used to view this post ?

 

Those are pretty straightforward questions, right? They may even seem redundant as since you’re reading this post, you should have some form of electricity powering the machine you’re viewing this post on and more than likely, that machine is a desktop or laptop. You may be saying, “Yea, so what? What does this have to do with EarthDay and Turnkey Internet?”

 

That form of electricity is more than likely from a fossil fuel. What exactly is a fossil fuel? A fossil fuel is a fuel that is formed by natural processes such as coal. Using these type of fuels can lead to all sort of environmental issues such as Greenhouse gases being released into the environment. These gases can result in harmful effects to the environment and the people within it which results in a higher carbon footprint. You can read more about forms of electricity and fossil fuels here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil-fuel_power_station

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuel

 

The reason I’m even mentioning this is because technology has reached a point in time where different forms of electricity can be created. These different forms can be any of the following listed below and many others:

 

  1. Solar power – converting energy from the sun to electricity
  2. Hydroelectric Power – Converting energy from water to electricity

 

Now both of these forms of power conversion each have their pros and cons, but they also have one thing in common: a zero carbon footprint. What exactly is a zero carbon footprint? The Zero Carbon Footprint is the measure of the amount of green house gases produced by burning fossil fuels. The higher the footprint, the worse for the environment. How does this factor into Turnkey Internet? Well, we utilize both, solar power and hydroelectric power, within our datacenter.

 

On top of our building, we have many different solar panels that convert solar energy directly to electric power to power the datacenter, but not only that, we also receive power from Niagara Falls that directly power the datacenter as well.

 

That means that our datacenter currently has a zero-carbon footprint which is the most effective way to ensure you leave a good mark on the environment. Every day when I walk into work and look at our datacenter, it makes me proud to know that we’re not damaging the environment. That we are helping to sustain the environment  by using outside of the box methods to power the AWESOME datacenter that is Turnkey Internet.

 

You can read more about our forms of power at:

 

http://turnkeyinternet.net/green-initiative/

 

Since it’s Earth Day, I wanted to bring light to the effectiveness on our power consumption at Turnkey Internet.

 

Until next time

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Written by Jeremy on May 8th, 2014

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TurnKey Internet’s green data center wins New York State Environmental Excellence Award   no comments

Posted at Dec 11, 2013 @ 11:41am Announcement,green

The award from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recognized TurnKey’s innovative facility design and outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility and economic viability

LATHAM, NEW YORK (December 11, 2013) – Sustainable IT solutions provider TurnKey Internet, Inc. announced that it has been awarded the 2013 Environmental Excellence Award by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for TurnKey’s work on transforming a vacant, former post office building into one of the nation’s leading high-tech, sustainable data centers.

 

The award from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recognized TurnKey’s innovative facility design and outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility and economic viability.  Turnkey’s  innovative green data center sets a benchmark for the data center industry through use of ultra-efficient cooling, unified power systems and renewable energy sources that create a carbon neutral facility.

 

 IMG_2243

TurnKey’s sustainable data center includes a roof-top solar array, backed by hydro-electric renewable power sources and cutting-edge cooling technologies that minimize energy consumption.   TurnKey’s green data center is one of only two ENERGY STAR® certified data centers in New York and one of just 39 in the United States.

 

In recognition of their commitment to the environment, TurnKey Internet has seen several prestigious titles and certifications this year including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially naming its Latham, New York facility an ENERGY STAR® certified data center.  In April, the company announced their implementation of the New York State Governor’s ReCharge New York hydroelectric power system. This, combined with the solar power the facility generates on site, allowed them to achieve a zero carbon footprint. Additionally, they announced their SSAE 16 Type 2 security certification earlier in the year.

 

“We are honored by New York State’s recognition of our facility and our ongoing commitment to sustainability,” said Adam Wills, president and CEO of TurnKey Internet. “Data centers are massive power consumers, and the industry as a whole is expected to be larger polluters than the airline industry by 2020. TurnKey has created a zero carbon foot print facility and a working blue print for ultra-efficient data centers that we hope will be adopted by other facilities across the globe to help create a sustainable environment.

 

 IMG_2242About Turnkey Internet

Founded in 1999, TurnKey Internet, Inc. is a full-service green data center and leading provider of sustainable web hosting and IT solutions. From its SSAE 16 Type 2 and ENERGY STAR® certified facility in Latham, NY—New York’s Tech Valley Region—TurnKey offers web hosting, communication services, web-based IT systems, software as a service (SaaS), enterprise colocation services, and computing as a service to clients in more than 150 countries. For more information, please call (518) 618-0999 or visit www.turnkeyinternet.net/media.

 

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Will the Obama Climate Change Plan impact your data center or business?   2 comments

Posted at Jun 27, 2013 @ 11:51am green,New York Datacenter

President Obama outlined his new plan to cut carbon pollution on Tuesday, June 25th 2013 during his speech at Georgetown University.  The big news is that President Obama is directing the United States Environmental Protection Agency to impose carbon pollution standards for power companies that will eventually lead to individual businesses as well being in the government’s cross-hairs.

The major point to the U.S. Government’s plan is to focus on efficiency in power generation and efficient power consumption to help minimize carbon

Hydro Electric Datacenter in New York

Hydro Electric Datacenter in New York

pollution.  The bottom line is that by reducing carbon pollution the rapidly increasing change in climate (for the worse) across the globe will be eased, slowed or even reversed at some point.

 

The primary concern of those who oppose any form of limits on carbon pollution (or enforced efficiency’s for energy production and usage) is that cleaner energy and green solutions can be seen as something that will increase costs short term and hurt the economy.  The reality is that the financial success of the future will in part be on controlling total energy costs through efficiency and renewable sources that will have stable cost structures (unlike fossil fuels as they run out will drasticaly increase in costs, as well as the costs associated with cleaning up after utilizing fossil fuels which generate significant carbon pollution).  The President’s plan focuses on the real future goal of minimizing the impact on the environment to reduce climate change through reductions in carbon emissions across the country.

The President stated “A low-carbon clean energy economy can be an engine of growth for generations to come” and I personally agree with this. In fact it’s in part what TurnKey Internet has focused on closely for the last several years through our green technology investments and massive investments in clean renewable energy sources such as our on-site solar power plant.  Over the last several years TurnKey Internet has invested millions of dollars on our new data center located in Latham, New York – and just last month was named an ENERGY STAR® certified data center by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ranking TurnKey’s datacenter among the best of the best for energy efficiency through design, and green technologies utilized. At the time of the announcement, TurnKey’s data center was one of just two certified facilities in New York, and one of 38 in the country to carry the presitigous ENERGY STAR® certified data center designation.

TurnKey’s philosophy has always been to minimize our impact on the environment. In April during the week long Earth Day 2013 awareness celebration we announced that our Latham, New York datacenter achieved a zero carbon foot print, by utilizing 100% renewable power resources (our on-site solar power generation plant, and activation of the New York Governor’s Recharge New York Hydro-Electric feed to our facility).  Our multi-million dollar investment in efficient green datacenter technology  and clean renewable energy may seem high in cost – but the reality is that over time the actual cost of energy is lower in our facility compared to similar facilities, and we maintain a positive impact by not creating any carbon pollution with our zero carbon foot print.  The point: it is possible to be economically positive and green at the same time.

In the next few years government will begin forcing power companies, and businesses which consume the largest amounts of power (like data centers which as an industry will be worse polluters than the airline industry by 2020!) to become more efficient and utilize green resources.  This will be to help reduce the impact our country makes on the worldwide climate change problem that has only been getting worse the last decade.  TurnKey Internet is years ahead of the game, not because we knew the government would eventually catch up to the times and force these changes – but because it’s the right way to do business.

– Adam Wills, CEO

– TurnKey Internet, Inc

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Written by Adam on June 27th, 2013

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Is your data center on a “carbon diet”?   no comments

Posted at Apr 22, 2013 @ 9:55am New York Datacenter,Web hosting

solar_system TurnKey Internet’s New York data center is on what we like to call a carbon diet. When we constructed the facility, minimizing our impact on the environment by using clean, renewable energy and ultra-efficient design was the initial goal.  Last week, we announced that our New York data center is now at the “zero carbon footprint” status–powered by 100% renewable resources with our on-site solar system and the NYS Government’s Recharge New York hydroelectric power feed.

So what does carbon footprint mean, and what exactly is so important about a zero carbon foot print?

A carbon footprint is the measure given to the amount of green house gases produced by burning fossil fuels, measured in units of carbon dioxide. Traditional data centers and cloud services companies consume massive amounts of electricity that is produced by fossil fuels–in the U.S., that is primarily done with coal. Those green house gas emissions given off by converting coal to electricity are what cause global warming and negative global climate change. Therefore,  every device that consumes electricity (such as a computer server in your office, or a web hosting server on the Internet) is contributing to the problem.

Data centers in the U.S. and across the globe house thousands of computer servers in a central location and consume enormous amounts of electricity. Data centers consume even more electricity to keep those computer servers cool, due to the massive quantity of heat they (the computer servers) produce. The best and most recently constructed data centers utilize efficient cooling and energy distribution designs to minimize the amount of electricity they must consume. However, if they consume their electricity from coal or other fossil fuels, then the data center is still an immense source of pollution. Data centers are expected to pollute more than the airline industry by 2020, according to this 2008 article in The New York Times.

Some companies such as Yahoo and Apple have been building data centers with ultra-efficient designs, and powering their facilities with clean, renewable energy.  Many companies, data centers, and cloud service providers are seeing colossal increases in energy costs. Making the massive investments for data centers that utilize clean, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro and geothermal is finally becoming a reality.

So why should this matter to you?  Let’s say you have a computer server in your office, and finally make the transition to the cloud. You place that server–or rent a new, highly-efficient one–in a data center. You can now choose a facility that is using renewable energy, so that your computer server will no longer be powered by fossil fuels, and thus, will no longer generate CO2, which damages the environment. It’s hard to imagine that the computer server in your office is hurting the environment as it stands today, isn’t it? Moving it to the cloud is not only a wise choice for reliability, security, and redundancy, but also for the environment.

The next time you select a cloud services provider or data center to work with, make sure the data center is on a carbon diet. Your waistline may not be impacted by this diet, but the rest of the world certainly will!

 

 

 

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April is Earth Month!   2 comments

Posted at Apr 5, 2013 @ 5:28pm green

environmental conservationWell, everyone, we are officially one week into April. A business week, anyway. But still, can you believe it? 2013 is flying for us at TurnKey Internet, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, if at all.

Did you survive April Fool’s Day? Surprisingly, it didn’t get too out of hand here. I say “surprisingly”, since, although the TurnKey team may appear to be comprised of seriously awesome, talented, amazing, incredible, terrific, extraordinary, fabulous, additional adjective meaning “great” (because, why not?), super-charged IT heroes—that’s what we appear to be comprised of, right? RIGHT?! Right.—we’re all just a bunch of goofballs and jokesters at heart. Did anyone get you good (or bad) with an April Fool’s Day prank? Did you get anyone? If so, feel free to share… I need some ammunition for next year.

April Fool’s Day is fun, but we love April for dozens of reasons. Aside from a day devoted to being silly, there are, let’s see, blooming flowers… warmer weather—Hey! A girl from Upstate NY can hope, can’t she? My fingers are crossed, yours should be too, and I refuse to acknowledge the fact that it snowed twice this week.

Anyway, there is also Earth Day in the month of April. When you’re green IT fanatics like we are, April’s Earth Day morphs into a month-long celebration of sustainability and the environment. April, for TurnKey Internet and our community, has become Earth Month, if you will. And you will, because we’re devoting the entire month to showing you how cool it is to be green.

If you’re unfamiliar with the TurnKey Internet green initiative, we can’t imagine how, because we love to talk about it. Regardless—and since we love to talk about it—you can read our press release about it all right here.

Check in from time to time this month for green news, stories, announcements, and more, from here, there, and everywhere. We have lots to share!

Are you planning to celebrate Earth Day this month? How do you do your part for the environment? It’s so, incredibly important to take care of the planet. We LIVE here. All of us.

Happy Earth Month!

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Written by Emily on April 5th, 2013

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