TL; DR: Sustainability is more than a buzzword at AISO, a responsible green hosting company that’s been committed to fighting pollution and preserving natural resources for more than two decades. The company owns and operates its environmentally-friendly datacenter, which uses on-site solar panels to power a selection of shared, virtual, and dedicated hosting solutions. With staff members who continually strive to provide unmatched service while ramping up efforts to further reduce energy use, AISO hopes to lead the hosting industry into a brighter, more eco-conscious future.
Scientists continue to stress that serious efforts during the next decade will be critical to combat climate change — and businesses are starting to reevaluate their sustainability plans accordingly.
When it comes to moving toward an eco-friendly future, organizations have numerous tools at their disposal. Some will focus on diverting waste from landfills and using post-consumer recycled materials in products, while others will form pro-climate business coalitions and work from LEED-certified buildings.
But there’s one crucial factor that even the most zealous environmental defenders often overlook, and that’s the importance of green hosting.
“Even customers with a strong commitment to going green need to reevaluate their IT infrastructure — they’re so busy pushing sustainability in other areas that they don’t consider what sustainable hosting options exist,” said Steven Craig, Network Admin at AISO. “It’s just not at the forefront of their minds, and that’s a significant challenge that we in the environmental space need to overcome.”
Rather than automatically turning to industry giants, climate-friendly hosts like AISO can help environmentally friendly organizations extend their efforts to the tech side of their businesses.
AISO, driven by the tagline “Web Hosting as Nature Intended,” has been doing just that since 1997. The green hosting company is driven by a strong commitment to reducing the environmental impacts of hosting, whether that’s through fighting pollution or preserving natural resources.
To that end, AISO’s wide selection of shared, virtual, and dedicated hosting solutions are all powered by renewable solar energy. Annually, the system eliminates the production of 34,488 pounds of carbon dioxide, 50.6 pounds of smog-causing nitrogen oxide, and 37.4 pounds of sulfates — which contribute to acid rain.
The company successfully blends its two decades of sustainable hosting experience with top-notch technical knowledge to provide secure, scalable solutions built around individual customer need. AISO staff members both strive to provide unmatched customer service and are ramping up efforts to further reduce energy use, ushering the hosting industry into a brighter, more conscious future.
More Than Two Decades of Experience in Sustainable Hosting
When he was just 15, Steven started AISO along with Co-Founder Phil Nail. Their original mission was to do something different: offer personalized service while decreasing energy consumption. Steven and Phil knew that turning to renewable energy to power their fully-owned datacenter would save costs and reduce environmental impact, so they decided to purchase solar panels.
At the time, few datacenters were focused on renewable energy, allowing AISO to carve out a niche in the nascent hosting market by generating power on site. And while today’s green hosting market is considerably more saturated than it was in 1997, many providers rely on renewable energy credits to cement their status as a sustainable host.
“That’s great, but they don’t have control over the datacenter itself,” Steven said. “AISO, on the other hand, is 100% powered by on-site solar energy.”
In 2007, AISO’s approach attracted the attention of Al Gore, who had founded Live Earth, a one-time benefit event intended to combat climate change through concerts spanning the globe in locations including Africa, America, Antarctica, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Japan. The former vice president, known for his environmental activism, chose AISO to host the event due to the company’s focus on sustainable energy.
Today, AISO serves a number of environmentally conscious organizations, including the Center for Sustainable Energy, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, the Himalayan Institute, Green-e, and the Organic Trade Association. Such companies often place an AISO banner on their website to verify that the site is hosted using 100% solar energy.
Shared, Virtual, and Dedicated Servers Powered by Renewable Energy
AISO’s carbon-free hosting solutions come in a range of shared, virtual, and dedicated options plus colocation services. Even the shared plans come with premium features, including a 99.99% uptime guarantee; U.S.-based support via phone, chat, and tickets; built-in site security, hourly backups, and free migrations.
For a fast, scalable hosting experience at an affordable cost, AISO’s range of cloud VPS plans provides a flexible solution. All plans include enterprise-grade hardware, SSD drives, full root access, U.S.-based support, and a 99.99% uptime guarantee. Clients seeking exclusive use of their server’s resources may opt to choose from AISO’s five dedicated plans or create a custom solution.
AISO’s low price points and feature-rich packages are especially impressive considering that solar is a long-term investment. According to Laz Peterson, Owner at AISO, the company’s costs are significantly higher than a similarly sized host.
“In some ways, we’re actually at a disadvantage because of the challenges inherent in going green,” Laz said. “But there’s also a lot of pride in going that route: We feel good about it doing something that will improve our children’s futures.”
While a majority of the company’s customers reside in the U.S., AISO is helping businesses worldwide become better environmental stewards. The company serves businesses overseas via virtual servers located in a green datacenter in Europe. Still, 75% of foreign clients choose AISO’s U.S.-based datacenter location for its impressive sustainability stats.
“We’re doing everything we can from top to bottom to ensure we’re offering the most environmentally responsible service possible,” Steven said.
Secure, Scalable Solutions Built Around Individual Customer Need
AISO’s primary goal is to create a clean alternative to energy-sucking datacenters. “We want customers to know that their dollars are going to an on-site solution focused on reducing the environmental footprint in any way possible,” Steven said.
Second to that, AISO strives to offer an affordably priced, scalable service with outstanding support. To that end, the company’s green datacenter is also a Tier 3 facility with 24/7 redundant monitoring.
“We’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve,” Steven said. “Our goal is not necessarily to beat everyone in terms of cost, but we try to offer excellent service with a lot of benefits, such as application-level security, for example.”
AISO also isn’t in the business of selling products through high-pressure sales tactics. The company’s shared plans are among the most popular with clients, and its support team will never attempt to push more expensive solutions unless they’re truly needed.
“Of course, if your website is resource-intensive and it’s getting a lot of traffic, we’ll suggest a virtual or dedicated server as needed,” Steven said. “But unlike some providers, we never try to upsell you things you don’t need; we want to remain competitive, but not if it means being forceful.”
Ultimately, AISO’s goal is to provide a green hosting solution with as much value per dollar as possible to the benefit of its customers. Considering the testimonials on the company’s website, the plan seems to be working.
“The AISO tech support team consistently delivers world-class customer service; their speed, expertise and willingness to go above-and-beyond sets a standard that the rest of the tech industry could learn from,” reads a statement from The Belton Group. “We signed up with AISO for their solar-powered dedicated servers, but their service and tech support will keep us as loyal clients for a long time to come.”
Ramping Up Efforts to Reduce Energy Use and Manage Heat
As for what the future holds, Laz said AISO is pursuing the ambitious goals centered on energy use and heat management — essential considerations in sunny Southern California, where temperatures may reach up to 120 degrees. Plans for a redesign, including the installation of new solar panels, are underway.
“The goal would be to be able to generate 200% of what we use,” Laz said. “If we can achieve that along with increasing our ability to keep the facility colder with less energy use, that would be a huge accomplishment. I’m pretty excited to see how this summer hits us.”
AISO intends to make its datacenter as environmentally-compatible as possible as time goes on. For our planet’s sake, future concerns should revolve around how green a datacenter is, not whether it’s green at all.