What? Your datacenter isn't located over a continental shelf of volcanic activity that can power your networks and servers with nothing but green, renewable energy? Fret not because satisfying your discriminating conscious as well as your company's green PR strategy is only an API away. Earlier this week, the GlazedCon wearable technology conference in San Francisco featured the compute and storage services provider GreenQloud -- an Icelandic startup whose data centers are 100 percent powered by sustainable energy.
In Icelandic terms, the truth according to GreenQloud founder and CTO Tryggvi Lárusson is that the entire country's electric grid is fueled by nothing but sustainable geothermal, wind, and hydro-powered energy. In Iceland, GreenQloud is no different than any other business when it comes to its reliance on green energy. How does the country do this? Iceland is located in one of the world's most volcanically active regions. Throw a bit of water into the mix and you have a virtually endless supply of steam. Once you have an endless supply of steam -- the same stuff that was used to propel locomotives down their tracks for nearly a century -- you have a nearly endless supply of renewable energy.
In this day and age of increasing social responsibility, there are very few if any companies who aren't looking for some sort of sustainable-earth story. Not only is it the right thing to do, but the imprimatur of renewable energy reliance is, from a public relations point of view, a magnet for customers who want green alternatives. To meet that need, GreenQloud offers IaaS services that are API-compatible with both Amazon's EC2 compute (ComputeQloud) and S3 storage services (StorageQloud).
According to Lárusson, GreenQloud's green story isn't the only reason to consider the company's IaaS offerings over those of Amazon, Rackspace, and other IaaS providers. Lárusson claims that GreenQloud's administrative consoles are significantly easier to use than those of the competition, thereby reducing the learning curve that's necessary to get up and running. Lárusson told ProgrammableWeb "Even though things are API driven, they shouldn't be hard to use. Amazon Web Services have a high technical threshold. You have to have high tech capabilities to use the services. So, we try to make them easier to use; easy for both consumers and developers."
That said, Lárusson concedes that GreenQloud's services lack Amazon Machine Image (AMI) compatibility. Whereas Amazon's machine images are based on a Xen hypervisor, customers would need to rely on GreenQloud's KVM-based machine images. Lárusson says that GreenQloud offers all the standard images that a developer would expect; the major linux distributions as well as Windows.
In addition to GreenQloud's StorageQloud IaaS offering, the company also goes toe-to-toe with synchronized storage providers like Box and Dropbox. According to Lárusson, the offering is an add on solution called Qloudsync and it includes an open source synchronization client for OS X and Windows to Dropbox and Box style storage. The sync client interacts with StorageQloud making it a cross between S3 and Dropbox."
Perhaps the best news about GreenQloud's offerings is that they don't involve a significant premium to turn green as one might expect. Saying that it's situational -- in some cases a little more and in some cases a little less -- Lárusson claims that the pricing is on par with Amazon's pricing for similar services.
GreenQloud is reachable on the web at www.greenqloud.com.
By David Berlind. David is the editor-in-chief of ProgrammableWeb.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect to David on Twitter at @dberlind or Google+, or friend him on Facebook.