How Can Serverless be an Ally For Reversing Climate Change?
The climate crisis is a pressing issue that requires immediate action from individuals and organisations worldwide. It has led to various negative impacts, including frequent and intense heat waves, droughts, and natural disasters. To halt and reverse these trends, we must reduce our carbon footprint and find ways to generate clean energy.
One area often overlooked in climate change discussions is web infrastructure’s role. Servers, data centres, and other hardware are essential for powering the Internet and other technologies we rely on daily. However, these systems also consume significant energy, contributing to climate change. It is estimated that data centres alone account for roughly 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Shifting to serverless systems, thus, is a wise and environmentally efficient choice.
The Benefits of Serverless For Energy Conservation
- No Infrastructure Management
Serverless is a relatively new cloud computing model that allows businesses to run their applications and services without needing to manage infrastructure. Companies can write and deploy their code to a cloud provider, which takes care of the underlying infrastructure instead of purchasing, installing, and maintaining physical servers.
- Lower Carbon Footprint
Since a serverless system only allocates resources to applications when needed, it avoids the waste of idle capacity familiar with traditional server-based infrastructures. Businesses can reduce their energy consumption and lower their carbon footprint by using serverless.
In addition, serverless is also cost-effective. Since companies only pay for the resources they use, they can save money on upfront hardware and maintenance costs. This makes it an attractive option for small and medium-sized businesses needing more money for more expensive, energy-conscious solutions.
Another advantage of serverless is that it automatically shuts down idle resources, reducing energy consumption. This is in contrast to traditional server-based infrastructures, where servers often run at total capacity even when they are not fully utilised.
The Need to Reduce Energy Consumption by Web Infrastructures
The energy consumption of web infrastructure is a serious issue that must be addressed if we are to make progress in reversing climate change. Data centres, in particular, are significant contributors to this problem. This facilitates house servers and other hardware to process and store data for various applications, including websites, cloud services, and online storage.
The U.S. Department of Energy states data centres in the United States alone consume an estimated 70 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. It is equivalent to a mid-sized country’s annual electricity consumption.
Most Energy Conscious Solutions Are Expensive
Given the scale of the problem, it is clear that we need to find ways to reduce the energy consumption of web infrastructure. Many companies are already taking steps to do so, but often, these solutions come with a high price tag.
For example, one frequently discussed approach is utilising renewable energy sources, such as solar rays or wind power, to power data centres. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it can be expensive to implement, particularly for smaller companies that may not have the financial resources to invest in new infrastructure.
Enter Green Serverless
This is where serverless technology comes in. Serverless technology is a game-changing computing model that offers numerous benefits to companies looking to reduce their energy consumption and lower costs.
Automatic shutdown of pods - Instead of running servers 24/7, serverless systems only spin up resources when needed and shut them down when they are not. Companies can save energy that would otherwise be wasted by automatically shutting down pods when they are not in use.
Energy reduction - Serverless technology is more flexible and scalable than traditional infrastructure, which can help reduce the need for additional hardware. This can further contribute to energy savings since companies will not have to purchase and maintain additional servers as their needs grow.
- Cost saving - Companies only pay for the resources they use and only for the required amount of time rather than having to maintain and pay for idle servers most of the time.
Serverless technology offers a promising solution for reducing energy consumption and lowering costs in the web infrastructure sector. By automating the shutdown of pods and providing a flexible and scalable computing model, serverless can help companies to become more environmentally friendly while still meeting their business needs.