Last Saturday evening, the Earth Hour organization encouraged people and businesses to turn unused appliances and computers off during one hour. As a global uptime monitoring service with access to 35,000 sites and servers all over the world, we decided to see if more web-connected devices than usual were offline (mostly servers managing websites).
We also issue a challenge to network administrators across the world.
The Earth Hour is global WWF-led initiatives in its third year, having aimed to make one billion people (1/6 of the global population) switch the lights off in order to show their support for action on climate change. This is an initiative we support, and one that many people would regard as more pressing than ever, given the UN Copenhagen summit in December.
The Earth Hour has yet to reach the Internet
Pingdom measured the average uptime (availability) of all those sites and servers across 126 countries during the Earth Hour time range and compared that number to the same period for the three previous weeks.
The result? There was no noticeable difference, which means that Earth Hour had no impact on the Internet.
With cooling and auxiliary systems, server power took up 1.2% of the entire U.S. power consumption in 2005. To put that into perspective, it’s the equivalent amount of power consumed by color TV’s.
Yes, we can
We all enjoy and need the Internet, as we all like and require light, but possibly all servers are not needed all the time. They do not all power mail or transaction- and business-critical sites (like our monitoring servers, for instance, which we can’t just turn off), but possibly personal home pages that might be voluntarily shut down for 60 minutes.
We challenge all network administrators to shut down all non-critical servers during Earth Hour in 2010 (and informing relevant parties about this beforehand, of course).
Earth Hour on Facebook 2010
Imagine a service like Facebook, closing down for one hour – that would be an unprecedented global manifestation in itself. What if Google stopped parts of its search function, and other companies contributed what actions they could as well.
At Pingdom, we promise to shut down as much as we can without compromising our main monitoring and notification services. Accept this challenge and join us to help make Earth Hour, 2010 show up on the Internet like never before.
Useless symbolism, or an important political act, what do you think and what will you do during Earth Hour 2010?