Now that's what I call a Web host with the most: AISO.net relies on solar to power its network

No matter how historic next week's inauguration might be, I am steering far clear of Washington, D.C.

No matter how historic next week's inauguration might be, I am steering far clear of Washington, D.C. But if you're subjecting yourself to the occasion,why not start early by attending the Green Inaugural Ball on Saturday night, Jan. 17! Only $500 a ticket!

OK, there is a real point to this post and that is the fact that the Web site for this swank affair that I haven't a prayer of affording is being hosted by AISO.net, a Web hosting company that happens to run entirely off solar power. You can check out how its panels are faring, how much energy it's saving compared with comparable facilities, and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it is offsetting on its main home page. AISO.net has been solar since WAY BACK before it became such an "it" thing to do: it embraced the technology back in 2002 and also designed its building with solar tubes to let in natural lighting. Here's an explanation of how its system works.

Yes, there is a vendor hook, too! AISO.net happens to run its facility on IBM System x servers, which also helps reduce the power requirements, according to Alex Yost, vice president of BladeServer technology at IBM. There's much more to its tech profile, of course, and you can read about all of AISO.net's technology partners here.

Yost describes AISO.net as as "Green Extreme" sort of company, one that pushes the limits of what green IT can do. "Most companies look at this as an example of what they COULD do, not what they plan do to," Yost says.

Right now, given the economic conditions domestically and abroad, IBM is emphasizing the efficiency and energy savings message that can be offered up by its quad-core offerings. The company graciously points people to this Intel link so that they can run calculations on how much space and money could be saved by replacing older systems (two to three years old) with its new technology.

In one example, IBM estimates a company could replace 168 single-core rack servers purchased in 2005 with far fewer quad-core blades. Considering a consolidation ratio of 20:1, the customer could eke out a six-fold increase in performance, while reducing server footprint by 75 percent and saving $165,721 annually in depreciation, management and energy costs, according to an example provided by Yost.

Stay tuned for more services and links related to IBM's Design for Efficiency push in the coming weeks. Meanwhile,you can play around with scenarios on IBM's Power Configurator at this link.

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