A UK-based provider of online data backups is building a technically-advanced data center powered solely by renewable energy.

Located in North Wiltshire, WorldBackups has purchased a 2,600 sq. ft. ex-BT exchange where it will develop its own on-site renewable energy generation, passing on the reduced power costs to its customers.

The company says it is bypassing the carbon offset route and is instead working towards a time when it won’t have a carbon footprint to counter.

The data center is due to go live in the second quarter of 2010.

Roland Scott, managing director of WorldBackups said pioneering technology isn’t solely the preserve of Silicon Valley or hi-tech hotspots in the UK.

He said the company was building a completely self-sufficient data center and proving that green investment can be good business.

"Our ethos is two-fold: a duty to make use of renewable and clean energy when we can, and also to be ready for the arrival of future environmental and compliance laws," he said.

World Backups is developing a system that will shut down its servers at different times throughout the day and night to preserve power.

In the case of most other data centers providing services such as website hosting and telecoms, the servers need to be turned on around the clock.

World Backups will be able to switch off unwanted servers, even during peak times, thanks to an advanced application that recognises when extra resources are required and can fire up the necessary network space within one minute.

The resulting cut back in the power required to run the center will make generating its energy through renewable sources on-site a viable option.

"We intend to use renewable energy during the day and sell the excess back to a supplier of electricity that comes solely from renewable energy sources," said Scott.

"We’ll then purchase back that renewable energy if and when it’s needed."

Scott said that in a recession, there’s always a concern that green businesses will suffer as companies and consumers look to cut costs.

"We believe that eco-enterprise and commercial success don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

"’Going green’ will make us more competitive, and our customers won’t have to sacrifice backing up their valuable data during the crunch."

World Backups’ software can be installed directly on to a server, laptop or PC to protect data such as email systems, databases, directories, office documents and pretty much all files from fire, theft, corruption and other disasters.

Scott said its online backups are easy to implement, secure, and offer an affordable and reliable alternative to tapes. Customers are guaranteed 24/7 access to their data from anywhere with an internet connection world-wide, and don’t have to worry about mislaid tapes or IT team holidays.

All data is encrypted before it leaves the customer’s system(s) to be replicated to WorldBackups’ data center, giving customers complete control over its security.

In addition, data can be backed up or mirrored to a server on the customer’s own site, providing quick and easy local access should a restore be required.

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