Making the mobile Web greener

Opera unveils sustainability initiative; announces new data center

Oslo, Norway – September 29, 2011

The world is ever more interconnected, and data centers are appearing all over the world. Data centers, the mystical warehouses of computers that process everything from your web-based email to compressing web pages for your phone, are on the increase.

More energy is needed to handle the hunger for information, with the mobile Web being one of the fastest growing sectors. The big discussion in the industry has turned from talking about hardware to focusing on the environmental impact of the industry.

Read the whole report here: State of The Mobile Web August 2011

In this month’s State of the Mobile Web report, we take a look at the infrastructure behind the largest mobile browser on the planet, Opera Mini.

Opera relies on a global network of data centers to deliver more than 79 billion pages to Opera Mini users each month. As the mobile Web grows, these data centers use more and more energy. In Opera’s data centers, the web pages are squeezed down in size so virtually all mobile phones can view the Web and save money to boot. With more than 128 million users each month using Opera Mini’s money-saving compression through data centers, the energy use is a significant amount of kilowatt-hours each month.

Today, Opera unveils a new sustainability initiative to ensure Opera Mini’s growth is powered by renewable and sustainable energy sources.

  • New data centers locations provide efficient cooling and direct access to renewable energy, as seen in the Opera Mini data center in Iceland and the newly unveiled data center in Seattle, USA.
  • Fresh installs of hardware make for more computing power per energy unit spent, reducing cost and environmental impact.
  • Tough demands on data center providers to secure minimum amounts of renewable energy has required the Opera Mini servers to be at least 60% renewable today and more than 80% in the future.

“When you live in Norway, you’re surrounded by immense natural beauty. It just makes sense to protect it,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “We”ve always been committed to sustainable practices, but now we are codifying it, so our partners and customers know where we stand. And, I’m pleased to see that we already derive more than half of our energy needs from renewable sources.”

Strong growth

Opera Mini is increasing its user base at a fast pace. The summer months, traditionally a more quiet period for Opera Mini, has not slowed the user increase in 2011:

  • In August 2011, there were over 128.0 million Opera Mini users, a 5.1% increase from July 2011. Since August 2010, the number of unique users has increased 92.3%.
  • Opera Mini users generated over 1,232 million MB of data for operators worldwide. Since July, the data consumed went up by 5.3%.
  • If Opera Mini’s users were to view their pages before the money-saving compression of the pages, the amount of data would be a staggering 11.4 petabytes of data in August alone.