Green-IT spirit

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Few people are aware of the environmental impact of the Internet.

According to the website, information technologies (ICT) emit 2% of greenhouse gas emissions related to humanity.
The electricity consumption of the Internet is partly used by servers, and by the cooling systems necessary for their operation. Most of the Internet traffic is generated by and for GAFAM*, which means that computation and cooling powers are used to improve marketing targeting! Under cover that these companies allow you to communicate. But all this has a significant cost in terms of natural resources.

According to another source, Wikip├ędia :

A Datacenter is used on average at 56% of its potential. 

Let us not forget the pollution caused by the voracity of the software used by these companies, which quickly makes the equipment obsolete (servers but also phones, PCs, tablets). We no longer throw away devices because they no longer work, but because they no longer work fast enough!

For private use, we will see that it is not necessary to host your website or email on a server hosted in an energy-intensive datacenter.
In comparison, a Datacenter server consumes at least 90 Watts without counting the energy required for cooling, while a Raspberry Pi consumes no more than 6 Watts and does not require cooling.

You can find some examples, indicating the use of Raspberry PI hosting websites :

The infrastructure of my Datacenter is made of plastic, manufactured on demand. The plastic used (PLA) is biodegradable into an industrial composter. Once built, unless it is shipped against a wall, it is durable equipment. All prototyping was done on screen, with 3D design software. The number of prototypes to be printed therefore depends on the quality of the measurements. The Rapsberry PI and Rock64 have the same form factor.

When it comes to website design, prefer static sites, as it was 15 years ago. Content managers such as Wordpress, use a code interpreter (PHP) and a connection to a database (Mysql). The energy cost of displaying a page with Wordpress is much higher than that of a static page.
With a static code (Html), the web server only reads the file containing the information (page) and sends it to the user’s browser. Caching devices further improve performance.
This type of website does not have an online administration interface or a connection to a database. The source code is not interpreted by the web server, which brings another advantage: it becomes insensitive to frequent attacks: sql injection, attempt to access the administration of the site and relieves the service of “intrusion detection”.

I migrated my Wordpress site to Hugo. Only a “PHP” program allows direct contact. This script is minimalist, it intercepts the data entered by an Internet user and sends it to me by email. Others choose to forward to Twitter or Facebook to establish a contact. I prefer to keep my data away from these silos.

Another way to stay in the Green-It spirit is to use so-called “obsolete” PCs, but you will not escape their power consumption. But this may be a solution to allow the use of services that are a little more resource-intensive and not supported by Raspberry Pi/Rock64.

Comparison of page loading time - Old website / New website

  • Old website: Wordpress service hosted on a Quad-Core Intel I7-6700, 3.84Ghz, Hyperthreading server (supports several other websites). The Mysql database is hosted on a Quad-Core Intel I7-6700, 3.84Ghz, Hyperthreading Quad-Core Processor server. Either 2 Servers + air conditioning.
  • New static website, hosted on a Rapsberry PI and a Rock64 (load balancing); respectively Quad-Core ARM Processor, 1.4GHz and 1.8Ghz. Two low-power servers, without air conditioning.
Page Old “Wordpress” site New “Hugo” site 3.78 sec 2.09 sec 3.32 sec (7 photos) 2.24 sec (15 photos)
(*)Tests performed without activation of the cache on a single Raspberry PI (no load balancing).

Of course, these two types of servers are incomparable in terms of performance. This is about exposing two different ways to implement a website. In my case, I even get a performance gain.

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