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Towards energy saving searches: Yahoo!

Posted in Internet and Search, The cloud and the open source by Manas Ganguly on July 20, 2009

BlackleGoogle and Yahoo! are the two most prolific search machines in the world. Whenever someone looks up at something online, each click of the mouse makes the backend data centre slightly busier. These data centres index and reference the internet and are the engines of internet. However, every activity at the data centre also emits greenhouse gases.

Both Google and Yahoo! are actively trying to reduce their carbon footprints. Google has Blackle, the all black energy saving user page. By reducing the use of colour (white) into Black, the energy consumption is eased off! In fact, Blackle has a meter that shows the energy saved by using the Blackle.

Yahoo! on the other hand, had rendered itself carbon neutral in 2007 by buying offsets against its footprint. Now Yahoo! is working towards zeroing out carbon offsets. The goal is to reduce 40% in carbon intensity in data centres in 2014.More and more widespread use of the internet will increase the CO2 output. As of today, Yahoo! services 500 million users worldwide. The energy consumption from data centres only in US was 60 billion Kilowatt hour and is expected to become 100 billion Kilowatt hour in the next 5 years. Thus emission from this electronic form is a real problem and reduction a real time issue.

Yahoo is using innovations like cloud computing and virtualization to eliminate the extra and unrequired usage. Thus it is a system that is efficient, more reliable and reduces wastage in the systems.

The other small and efficient way to get cut energy usage is to use the ambient temperature of surroundings and use colder places to increase on the free cooling and reduce the electricity consumption on cooling. All things together: Smarter computers using less electricity smart buildings and smart grid, smart location and Cloud computing and virtualization can help make a difference in reducing carbon emissions.

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