Unfortunately, I think I am like a lot of people in that I don’t really think about what happens to a server when it’s time to send it off to that big happy data center in the sky. In reality, that big happy place is oftentimes a landfill, into which the lifeless server sometimes releases a toxic concoction of chemicals.
It’s enough to make a Greenpeace volunteer’s head explode, and apparently that is what’s happening now that Microsoft is ramping up the Vista train. For many IT guys, Vista equals hardware upgrades in addition to the software ones, and that means a lot of perfectly good older servers are being put out to pasture. In other words, e-waste.
But all is not lost, and would you believe nature’s savior could be … Linux? In an article I put up today, I took a look at a new report from the U.K. government that said because Linux servers last twice as long as Windows ones, they are more environmentally friendly.
A fellow blogger named Mark Ontkush over at EcoGeek leaped on the news today and said a widespread switch to Linux could prevent millions of tons of waste from going into landfills.
“Every computer not needed would prevent the use of 240 kilograms of fossil fuels,” he said. “Spread that out over the 17.5 million computers that wouldn’t be going obsolete every year, and Linux could deliver the world a much more sustainable future.”
Like Communisim, it all sounds great on paper, but real world results are going to be very tough when your main roadblock to greener server rooms is named Microsoft.