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Solar powered data center goes ?greener? with dirt roof

by on04 September 2007


Just shows what is possible with some ingenuity


Affordable Internet Services Online Inc. (AISO) ( is a worldwide Web hosting site that reportedly runs the only 100% solar powered data center in the U.S.  AISO is located in the desert in southern California where there is lots of sunshine year round.  The facility is run with 120 solar panels, 60 per side of the 2,000 square foot data center, that provide 12KW of power.

The power is converted from DC to AC and then saved in batteries for the days when the sun is not shining.  Natural facility lighting is piped in to the facility during the daytime by solar tubing. And AISO plans to go greener yet – it is currently installing a dirt roof that will grow drought tolerant plants that it claims will reduce its air conditioning costs by as much as 50%.  The plants on the rooftop will be watered by recycled water from the data center air conditioning units.

AISO claims to host over 15,000 Web sites worldwide with its servers. The facility has three individual Internet backbones that are redundant, as is every piece of equipment connected to the storage-area network. AISO was started ten years ago by entrepreneurs Phil and Sherry Nail, who had manufacturing expertise but no IT experience at the time.

They started small and expanded the data center with operations funds, incurring no debt, which has helped sustain their operations while other companies have gone under in the dot-com crash. AISO’s server farm has been able to reduce its number of servers from 120 to 4 since AISO installed virtualization software from VMware, Inc., and the excess servers were reportedly sold on eBay by Phil Nail.

This is truly an example of going green and of using resources wisely.

Read more here.

Last modified on 05 September 2007
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