Tag Archives: Documentation

CAcert significantly reduces power consumption

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The operation of servers in a data centre is always associated with power consumption. And at the latest since the winter of 2022/2023 with the energy shortage in Europe, broad sections of the population have also realised that electricity consumption is associated with costs.

We at CAcert have been looking at our technical equipment for some time now: on the one hand, it should be cost-effective to purchase, as we don’t have an infinite amount of money and handle our friends’ donations with care. On the other hand, we will also take a look at the operating costs.

Some time ago, we drew up a plan to replace old, long-depreciated appliances that were becoming increasingly prone to failure and consuming a lot of electricity in several stages. The planning and initial steps were started by Secure-U before the machinery was transferred to CAcert Inc.

A look at the diagram above shows the success of these measures. August is shown as an example for the years 2014-2022, followed by all months for 2023-2023: Consumption was reduced from 600-800 kWh to around 200 kWh in two steps. This enabled us to offset the doubling of the electricity price.

Anyone who wants to share in the reduced electricity costs or make a contribution to fill the hole in the till that the purchase of the machines has torn as a small thank you to those volunteers who did the installation of the new servers in their spare time for you: Donation account CAcert: IBAN CH02 0077 4010 3947 4420 0 or with bank or credit card.

CAcert reduziert Stromverbrauch signifikant
Der Betrieb von Servern in einem Datenzentrum ist immer mit Stromverbrauch verbunden. Und spätestens seit dem Winter 2022/2023 mit der Energiemangellage in Europa ist auch breiten Schichten bewusst, dass Stromverbruach mit Kosten verbunden ist. Wir von CAcert beschäftigen uns schon länger mit unserer technischen Ausrüstung: Einerseits soll sie kostenkünstig sein in der Anschaffung, da wir nicht unendlich viel Geld haben und mit den Spendengeldern unserer Freunde sorgfältig umgehen. Andererseits werden wir auch einen Blick auf die Betriebskosten.

So haben wir schon vor längerem einen Plan erstellt, wie wir alte, längst abgeschriebene Gerät, die immer störungsanfälliger wurden und viel Strom verbrauchten in mehreren Schritten ersetzen können. Die Planung und die ersten Schritte wurden noch von Secure-U begonnen, bevor der Maschinenpark an CAcert Inc überging. Ein Blick auf obenstehendes Diagramm zeigt den Erfolg dieser Massnahmen. Für die Jahre 2014-2022 ist jeweils exemplarisch der August gezeigt, anschliessend alle Monate für 2023-2023: Der Verbrauch von 600-800 kWh konnte in zwei Schritten auf rund 200 kWh gesenkt werden. So konnten wir die Verdoppelung des Strompreises auffangen.

Wer sich an den reduzierten Stromkosten beteiligen will oder mit einem Beitrag das Loch in der Kasse auffüllen, das die Anschaffung der neuen Maschinen gerissen hat: Spendenkonto von CAcert: IBAN CH02 0077 4010 3947 4420 0 oder mit Bank- oder Kreditkarte.

CAcert réduit massivement la consommation d’énergie
L’exploitation de serveurs dans un centre de données est toujours liée à la consommation d’électricité. Et depuis l’hiver 2022/2023 et la pénurie d’énergie en Europe, de larges couches de la population sont conscientes que la consommation d’électricité est liée à des coûts.

Chez CAcert, nous nous préoccupons depuis longtemps de notre équipement technique : d’une part, il doit être peu coûteux à l’achat, car nous n’avons pas des moyens illimités et nous gérons avec soin les dons de nos amis. D’autre part, nous allons également jeter un coup d’œil sur les coûts d’exploitation.
Ainsi, nous avons établi depuis longtemps un plan pour remplacer en plusieurs étapes les anciens appareils amortis depuis longtemps, qui devenaient de plus en plus sujets aux pannes et consommaient beaucoup d’électricité. La planification et les premières étapes ont été entamées par Secure-U avant que le parc de machines ne soit transféré à CAcert Inc.

Un coup d’œil sur le diagramme ci-dessus montre le succès de ces mesures. Pour les années 2014-2022, le mois d’août est montré à titre d’exemple, puis tous les mois pour 2023-2023 : La consommation de 600-800 kWh a pu être réduite en deux étapes à environ 200 kWh. Nous avons ainsi pu compenser le doublement du prix de l’électricité.

Ceux qui souhaitent participer à la réduction des coûts d’électricité ou combler par une contribution le trou dans la caisse que l’achat des nouvelles machines a creusé : Compte de dons CAcert: IBAN CH02 0077 4010 3947 4420 0 ou avec une carte bancaire ou de crédit.

Licensing our Documentation under CC-by-sa+DRP

Hi all, and contributors of documentation!

We are now at the point of licensing our documents. As some of you may have noticed, we have now licensed the Policies under Creative Commons – attribution – share alike licence, with our DRP [1]. Or CC-by-sa+DRP for short [2].

The Board is intending to do the same thing with our other documentation: CC-by-sa+DRP.

If you’re fine with this, say YAY TEAM, and read no further 🙂

Some notes on what this means:

  1. In broad terms the chosen licence is like GPL but for documents not source code.
  2. Documents are contributed under CCA 1.3 which includes this broad grant from you to CAcert Inc.:

    1.3 Your Contributions

    You agree to a non-exclusive non-restrictive non-revokable transfer of Licence to CAcert Inc. for your contributions. That is, if you post an idea or comment on a CAcert forum, or email it to other Members, your work can be used freely by the Community for CAcert purposes, including placing under CAcert Inc.’s licences for wider publication.

    You retain authorship rights, and the rights to also transfer non-exclusive rights to other parties. That is, you can still use your ideas and contributions outside the Community.

  3. At first glance, that clause CCA 1.3 looks quite fierce. There are a couple of reasons for such a complete and blanket transfer.
    1. It has been our experience that people have made contributions, and withheld transfer, preferring instead to control the results by means of copyright rights. This has put the Board, the Policy Group and the critical teams in a difficult position at times. The people making the contributions have often been thinking with all good intentions, but results of those intentions have been at least unpredictable and sometimes very costly.
    2. Secondly, it is possible that people with bad intentions could insert documents of uncertain background, and then stir up trouble later [3]. We do live in a competitive environment, and a competitor could cause this to happen. So the CCA includes a broad grant that addresses that.
    3. Thirdly, it would take an entire team to resolve the copyright mess if we didn’t have a broad grant. We’d have to have people running after every document, every post, every idea. It’s just uneconomic, and most of the contributors would not fill out the forms and return them anyway. We’ve got better things to do without creating work for ourselves following the tired old dreams of some 20th century colonialist music empire for the collection of royalties from poor starving artists.
  4. The grant is broad about what documents belong. Primarily we’d expect that to include the wiki, the SVN, the doco pages on the main website, email / list forums etc. These would all be “forums” under the above text. The point is it’s broad, inclusive. If there is any difficulty about this, then the intention is to use our Arbitration to solve the bits we missed.
  5. The quid pro quo for all of this is that CAcert Inc, now the proud owner of lots of documentation, license it back to the community. That’s today’s job.

So this email is going out to all the team leaders and so forth, from the Board, to ask for your thoughts, comments, desires, responses on the issue. What do you think? More thought required? Or full-steam-ahead? Somewhere in between? [4]

iang, informally for and from Board [5].

[1] There are some technicalities. We are adding to this by resolving all disputes in our own forum. We do this by means of the single licensing line in the document itself which now looks like: CC-by-sa+DRP. The motive for this is that our Arbitration works well across the planet, and is cheaper. It’s the same motivation for Arbitration with anything else, we protect all the members better this way.

[2] Also, we are using the Australian licence, 3.0 version, so the fuller acronym would add -AU-3.0. It is customary to not add those details. The various 3.0 licences are meant to be complementary (documents can work together under different 3.0 licences from different countries.

[3] This has been reported in the IETF groups, mostly with “submarine patents,” as a game between competitors.

[4] If you’ve got this far 🙂 Let me take this moment to conduct a quick survey: who feels more comfortable with the spelling of the word as licence, and who feels more comfortable with license?

For the noun form, the word is /licence/ in Anglo spelling, and /license/ in American spelling. The reason it is confusing is that in Anglo-english, the *verb* form uses S like licensing, licensed not C like licence. The American form then is far simpler, using S all the time, and as expected. The Anglo form is confusing … Note the RDL retained the American form 🙂

Anglo in this context means A/NZ/UK, I’m not sure about countries such as India, Pakistan, Singapore, Honk Kong and other strong users of English. Europe generally adopts British English, but I’d be surprised if they have avoided this confusion! Note that the answer to this question may feed into a wider question…

[5] which means, there is no Board motion as yet. There is board discussion minuted at: