Greener backup services with efficient code

Inside KeepitJune 27, 2024 | 3 minutesBy Jakob Østergaard

The following is an abridged version of my recent article, “Tapping the potential of code for greener backup services,” which is published, in full, with Computer Weekly.

The language of sustainability 

Sustainability goes beyond green energy; it includes building efficient, reliable, and adaptable systems. Using C++ as the primary programming language enables the development of storage systems that minimize resource usage while maximizing performance and reliability.

Efficient architecture and programming 

Sustainability is about optimizing efficiency at every operational level to minimize resource consumption while maximizing performance and profitability. C++ helps create sustainable, scalable architectures, reducing environmental impact and avoiding legacy inefficiencies.

Purpose-built architecture 

The key to sustainable data management is purpose-built architecture, tailored to address storage challenges efficiently. Deduplication, eliminating redundant data, is crucial. This approach streamlines operations, reduces complexity, and lowers resource consumption compared to virtual machines provided by third-party platforms.

Choosing efficient programming languages 

Efficiency extends to programming languages. C++, known for its performance and low resource utilization, can yield significant energy savings compared to resource-intensive languages. Its versatility, low-level access to system resources, and support for high-level abstractions make it ideal for developing efficient and scalable software.

Avoiding legacy inefficiencies 

Legacy systems introduce complexity and inefficiencies, increasing costs and energy consumption. By maintaining full ownership and control of the technology stack, companies can streamline operations and minimize resource overhead, prioritizing lean, purpose-built architectures that deliver long-term benefits.

Performance as a priority 

Optimizing resource usage is essential for long-term sustainability, especially with the increasing volume of data. Meticulous design of storage architecture and code optimization are necessary. Off-the-shelf solutions may offer quick fixes, but efficient code is crucial for addressing core issues sustainably.

The impact of code on sustainability and cost 

Adopting sustainable practices in architecture design and programming languages reduces energy consumption, predicts costs, and simplifies compliance. Techniques like incremental backup and deduplication enhance efficiency, sustainability, and profitability. C++ enables the creation of resource-efficient, fast, and environmentally sustainable storage systems.


Prioritizing responsible resource consumption and operational efficiency allows technology companies to lead in environmental stewardship without compromising profitability. By integrating sustainable practices, we can foster a more environmentally conscious tech industry for future generations. 

Read the full article


Jakob Østergaard is CTO at Keepit, a leading cloud backup and recovery solution. He has an M.Sc. in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and has worked with software development since 1998. The early career started on massively parallel supercomputers but soon transitioned to more reasonably sized equipment.

He has played a key role in the design and implementation of several cross platform networked software systems and is the principal designer of the object storage system that underlies the Keepit business. Today he leads the development, operations, and security organizations of the company.

He still writes code. Find Jakob on LinkedIn.