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How green was my virtual valley? Linden Lab pairs with Terremark

Tateru Nino

One of the tales you see circulating in the media every quarter is that the carbon footprint of a Second Life avatar is the same as that of a citizen of Brazil, based on energy consumption. The story goes around a few times each year, though technically it wasn't really all that accurate even when it began to circulate.

Around the time that the calculation was done, Linden Lab was already in the process of slashing power-consumption across its facilities, and presently uses only a third compared to similar servers. Plus, there's the little detail that the carbon footprint of the average Brazilian is quite small, a mere fraction of the world average.

Now the Lab is moving into newer, greener pastures err ... facilities, having closed a deal with Miami-based Terremark to start moving Second Life servers into Terremark's colocation facilities outside of Washington DC.

This makes the first Second Life data-center 'East of the Mississippi'. A data-center presence near the well-connected nation's capital could significantly boost Second Life performance for users in the Eastern half of the USA, as well as for users in the European Union.

Additionally, Linden Lab is taking advantage of the move to further reduce the per-capita power consumption of the Second Life grid, and the shift to Terremark's facilities should additionally reduce the ancillary power-consumption.

"We are serious about accounting for green technology in our future infrastructure decisions," Frank Ambrose (Linden Lab's SVP of Global Technology) told us yesterday, "It's a long process, but server power consumption was a good start. Lots more to consider in this space, but wanted to let people know its a key strategy (just like performance within Second Life). We won't sacrifice performance, but think we can be environmentally efficient at the same time."

Are you a part of the most widely-known collaborative virtual environment or keeping a close eye on it? Massively's Second Life coverage keeps you in the loop.

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