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Badsender moves its IT infrastructure to greener pastures

10/03/2021

Ecology, climate, pollution, ... so many topics that occupy many discussions. Unfortunately, in these debates, there are always many sentences in the conditional tense!

Moreover, in "modern" companies (note the quotation marks), when we talk about advancing in the field of ecology and reducing the carbon footprint, we immediately think of travel, offices, fleet of vehicles, ... But what do we do with all this when we don't have any. I mean... at Badsender, everyone is telecommuting, so no offices to insulate, no commuting, no fleet of vehicles and since early 2020 almost no travel to customers (which we do anyway massively by train).

Our tools are digital... let's make them more virtuous!

File storage, email exchange, project management, video, ... like all "modern" companies (note again the quotation marks) we use a multitude of tools. We have acquired them as our needs have evolved. Some of them have already changed several times in order to better respond to the evolution of our activity.

But are they energy efficient? Have they worked on a green action plan?

Complex questions that are often difficult to answer. For example, a year ago (it takes a long time to answer all these questions), I asked our web host if they had a charter or a document detailing the "Green Hosting" actions they were taking. Our host at the time answered (proudly or not) that they did not. That we had to make do with the 7 or 8 bullet points of their famous "Green Hosting" page. Not quite satisfactory.

Let's not even talk about the so-called "Saas" services, since this is very (too) rarely a point addressed in the sales pitch. Let's hope this changes soon.

How to find greener solutions? OpenSource to the rescue!

First, we looked for equivalents to our tools that would give us guarantees. And there, good luck. Because there isn't much to go on.

So we turned the problem around. What if we hosted the different bricks of our information system ourselves? In this case, we would only have to find a really green host. Our little ecological questioning is composed of two answers that will structure our approach in the future:

  • Use of free and open source solutions whenever possible: Because these solutions can be installed anywhere. So we are the ones who have the power to place them on servers that meet our ecological criteria. And then, fundamentally, it is a logic of value creation which corresponds well to what we do since the beginning of Badsender. Create content, share it. Create support methodologies and share them. Our white papers, for example, have been under a Creative Commons license for a long time and we will soon have some surprises to present to you.
  • Hosting these solutions on servers ofInfomaniak : It doesn't take very long to understand that if there is one player in the hosting industry that has understood the climatic and ecological issues, it is Infomaniak. Their approach is documented, certifiedsupported by well-known players. Infomaniak is also a company that is 100% owned by its founders and employees. And that's something we love!

Where do we stand? And what are the selected solutions?

We've prepared a beautiful chart for you. I'd like to promise you that we'll update it regularly, but it's the kind of promise I might regret very quickly. But don't hesitate to let us know if you want to force this update 😉

As you can see, a number of tools are not yet ready for migration. Most of the time because the migration would be complex or because no satisfactory OpenSource tool exists to host it at Infomaniak.

And that's not necessarily a problem. We will move what can be moved if the situation changes. The idea is not to be irreproachable (that is neither possible nor really desirable), but to do the best we can within our means. We will however make sure to keep these ecological criteria in mind in the future if we need other solutions. In the end, the most important thing is to think about it every time there is a decision to be made.

We'll try to keep you updated on our progress. Don't hesitate to let us know if you are in a similar process and want to exchange some tips and tricks 😉

Photo by Jace & Afsoon on Unsplash

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