What's My Linodes Carbon Footprint?

Linode Staff

Whats my carbon footprint. I found an article from 10 yrs ago, is it still accurate? It said: "A single Linode 360's share of its host's power consumption would be about 7.5 watts. So assuming electricity consumption of 0.0075 kW, that's 0.0075 * 24 * 365 = 65.7 kWh in one year."

20 Replies

This is a hard question to answer since there are so many variables that go into how much energy a Linode will use. That's why there's not much info around. I did some digging around and found that a 4 GB Linode uses about 3-6 watts. This is slightly less than the number you used.

I also want to provide you with some more information about some of our data centers. They have green initiatives to help offset our carbon footprint. If your carbon footprint is important to you, I would reccomend using these data centers.

Equinix Green by Design (London, Frankfurt and Tokyo 2)
Telstra Exchange Green Initiatives 2018 (Singapore)

You can find some more information about our upstream providers' initiatives here:

KDDI's Commitment to Sustainability
SoftLayer® Signs Renewable Energy Contract with Green Mountain Energy®
Telstra Bigger Picture 2018 Sustainability Report

UPDATE: The wattage used is closer to 2.66 watts or (.00266KW) since our last estimate was done.

So a 4GB Linode running 24 hours a day would consume .064 kWh.

Looking at Equinix, the page linked says "92% renewable energy coverage globally in 2018 up from 77% in 2017". That's pretty good compared to AWS, which is 50% globally. That said, AWS now have 5 DCs that are at 100% and furthermore both Google and Microsoft are at 100% globally. This is going to be become an important differentiator for providers.

Out of curiosity, is there any information for the Toronto, Canada data center? Or would its carbon footprint not be applicable for Ontario’s energy generation: Ontario's Supply Mix

Many of the upstream providers for our other data centers are linked above. In the interest of transparency and providing up-to-date information, below are links to any available information from our partners regarding their environmental controls and/or standards:

Digital Realty
This covers the Dallas data center

Eqinix
Equinix handles the following data centers:

  • Frankfurt
  • London
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto

Zayo
For our Atlanta data center

Telstra
Our Singapore data center is with this company.

Another thing to consider is what happens to the hardware once it's no longer in service. In each data center, when a hard drive is shredded, our partners adhere to ISO 14001 and NAID standards. The ISO 14001 environmental standard is further explained here:
ISO 14000 FAMILY - ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

It would be great if you could have a dedicated page for this on your homepage. It took me quite a bit of googling to find this page.

In general it looks like really good news too! I have a linode VPS in Frankfurt and Eqinix is really good in this area, so I'm happy that I don't have to do anything for my usage to be mostly carbon neutral.

Linode Staff

Wanted to post an update to this with some new/more accurate info.

We're no longer working with KDDI, SoftLayer, or Telstra as upstream providers. We have since changed those specific partners to:

Equinix Tokyo
DRT Richardson
BDx

Earlier this year, BDx actually acquired the Telstra data center in Singapore. Once that happened, the Singapore data center became associated with BDx:

BDx: Singapore Data Center

I second @boxed's comment about making this a dedicated page on your site. I am a huge Linode user and would love to see how their environmental impact compares to other cloud providers.

+1 for having a dedicated, easily-accessible page that (proudly) displays the current "estimated environmental impact" level for each datacenter.

This can help not only in comparing Linode with other VPS providers, but also when deciding where to setup specific Linodes - because for certain clients, environmental impact is more important than lag.

Could someone from Linode confirm whether these figures reflect the current percentage of renewable energy used to power each of its datacenters? Based on the links provided above, atm they seem to be:

  • Frankfurt (Eqinix): 100%
  • London (Eqinix): 100%
  • Toronto (Eqinix): 100%
  • Dallas (Digital Realty): 100%
  • Sydney (Eqinix): 75% (? - generic regional stat, no information on specific datacenter)
  • Tokyo (Eqinix): 75% (? - generic regional stat, no information on specific datacenter)
  • Atlanta (Zayo): 25% (? - generic regional stat, no information on specific datacenter)
  • Singapore (BDx): 0% (? - unable to find environmental policy or renewable usage data)

Unknown - posts above don't mention who the upstream providers are for the following datacenters:

  • Fremont
  • Newark
  • Mumbai

@kirbyzone We're working on seeing if we can confirm this information for you. We'll update this question when we have additional information.

@rdaniels when it could be confirmed?

@cellularhacker This is actively being worked on and we're looking forward to having this information live on our website soon, so keep an eye out there. We'll also be sure to follow up on this question once that information is available.

Hi, could anyone please provide an update to the above info, and why can Linode not make this high level data available on their Data Centre / Location pages?

Hi everyone, thank you for your replies. At this time, our team is still working on gathering the necessary data. That being said, we do not have an ETA on when this information will be available. We appreciate your understanding.

For any of you still looking to find information about which Linode data centers are running on 100% renewable energy, then I have made an article here:

https://sustainablewww.org/principles/here-is-the-list-of-linode-data-centers-running-on-renewable-energy

I used the list of data centers that Linode provided and researched each company to find the most accurate answers for you.

If I find newer information I will update the article.

Thank you for your research, @TheMikeAndersen! I'm not sure, however, that the list of upstream providers that we have in this thread is still up-to-date…

If you've logged into your Linode Manager recently, you might have seen an official notification from Linode asking you to agree to their latest 'EU Model Contract'. This contract relates to the transfer of private data from the EU to data centres elsewhere around the world. In the 'Annex III' section at the end of the document, you'll see a list of suppliers - i.e., 'sub processors' - that Linode is currently using. I believe the ones listed as 'Colocation' processors might be the current upstream data centres. If that is the case, they could include:

These would only be the providers outside the EU, so it may not include the provider(s) for the Frankfurt data center - although it may include the one for London…

The only way for us to know for certain is to get word, officially, from Linode staff, like @rdaniels.

@kirbyzone - Thank you for making me aware of this :-) This is something I haven't seen. If just Linode will confirm their data centers I will gladly research and update the article.

@rdaniels, @cmcfarland

I assume there is no update on this yet. That there is no ETA on the update means that, within Linode, this is quite low priority.

Seeing that Linode cares about customer satisfaction and seems to be successful at it (I've received support once and it was great), I would like to suggest that Linode open a poll to gauge customer interest in having up-to-date, traceable data on whether their nodes are running on renewable power or not. A poll like this could shed some light on whether the task is well prioritised.

I would like to think many of your customers are interested in this, but I also don't know. This could also help customers decide whether Linode is a right fit for them.

@wolterhv I could be wrong, but gauging from my own dealings with Linode's super helpful and conscientious staff, the main issue here is not whether this is a priority or not - it is - but rather the fact that some of the upstream providers are not forthcoming with information about the carbon footprint of their operations. Linode can ask, and ask, and ask, but if the datacenter won't "come clean" (pun intended), they don't have a lot of options…

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