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How to Make DNS Green

Bill St. Arnaud

The Dutch Internet registry SIDN has launched a unique program in partnership with CleanBits to identify what proportion of .nl domain names were hosted on a green or CO2-neutral basis. The results show a strong trend towards the 'greening' of the .nl internet zone. Nearly 30 per cent of .nl names were found to have green hosts. That is more than twice the percentage identified in a 2009 survey, which revealed that 11% of the .nl zone was green-hosted. To be counted as green, a host had to use only green energy, or offset its CO2 emissions.

The Domain Name Systems is probably one of the most critical components of the global Internet, and yet one that could easily be made truly green by moving DNS servers to follow the wind/follow the sun architectures such as Greenstar. Because DNS relies extensively on local caching, as well as primary and secondary servers, it is an Internet application that could be easily adapted to this type of architecture. A typical DNS zone may process millions of DNS queries per hour representing, in aggregate, thousands of kilowatt hours and potential CO2 emissions.

The recent work undertaken by the Greenstar project could easily quantify these CO2 emissions and possibly someday make them eligible for cash offsets in the various voluntary markets .

By Bill St. Arnaud , Green IT Networking Consultant

Related topics: DNS, Registry Services

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