GreenQloud Carbon-Neutral Data Centre Goes Beta

GreenQloud has laid plans to open what it claims to be the world’s first carbon-neutral cloud service. The service is entering beta testing at the moment and will go live at the end of the first quarter 2011.

The data centre only uses renewable energy provided by the geothermal springs and hydropower available at the centre’s location in Iceland. Eirkur Hrafnsson, GreenQloud’s CEO and co-founder, claimed that this location also makes it possible for companies based in Europe and America to have a common data centre. This would avoid moving data across frontiers and would be cheaper than having to source facilities in two or more countries.

The cooler climate of Iceland will also mean that power is not wasted on overuse of air-conditioning to keep the servers running.

Compatible With Amazon

The cloud will be fully compatible with Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3) and Elastic Block Storage (EBS) services, he said, to make it easier for customers to work with, or move to, GreenQloud’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). He added that the devalued currency in Iceland and low energy prices should allow the company to compete favourably with Amazon on price.

“There are other players in Europe starting to market themselves as green clouds – but by leveraging carbon offsets, which will make them more expensive and not truly green. There are no green clouds in the US that we know of,” Hrafnsson claimed in an interview with Web Host Industry Review.

The operation uses’s Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) stack which brought with it Microsoft Hyper-V virtualisation. The company has also partnered recently with Scality for its Ring massively-scalable, object-storage software.

In an initial report on GreenQloud, William Fellows, an analyst with The 451, wrote, “GreenQloud is not the first tech company to make use of Iceland’s renewable energy footprint, but the combination of an eco-IT story, a public clone of the Amazon cloud and potentially not having to locate in two territories (low latency and/or data protection) will be enough differentiation to get noticed.”

Eric Doyle, ChannelBiz

Eric is a veteran British tech journalist, currently editing ChannelBiz for NetMediaEurope. With expertise in security, the channel, and Britain's startup culture, through his TechBritannia initiative

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