The explosive growth and demand for data are leading to the increasing number of data centers. While having a huge amount of data at their disposal enables enterprises to streamline their business processes, it also leads to carbon emissions. Companies are increasingly innovating to meet this challenge in a sustainable manner.
Most organizations find it difficult to correlate their data center and storage activities with the actual carbon footprint they create on a daily basis. In many cases, investing monetary resources seems reasonable in an effort to strengthen the infrastructure. However, this also leads to spending money on something that is most likely contributing to emissions. With governments and industries alike pushing for decreasing their carbon emissions, it becomes vital for organizations to reduce expenditure for anyone wishing to reduce their carbon footprint.
The best place for organizations to identify their carbon emission is to look for their data storage. They should only strive to collect data that meet their long-term goals and tackle the inefficiencies.
Solutions such as high-service density ones, can enable them to seamless identify the wastage of data resources and the inefficiencies their operations. In addition, organizations also use insights gathered from high-service density solutions to craft better carbon reduction strategies. “Collecting and analyzing data on your operations can help to identify inefficiencies and waste, and the positive effects can save multiples of the cost of data storage and analysis,” says Damien Tornoud, Chief Technology Officer, Platform.sh. He further adds, “So, while it’s not recommended to collect and store arbitrary data that you don’t intend to analyze, the cost of data storage itself shouldn’t deter anyone from the quest of reducing their carbon footprint.” Thus, opting for high-service density solutions such as Platform.sh can be an option for organizations committed to decreasing their carbon emissions.
Importance of high-service density solutions
As per Damien Tornoud, “Computers often have boring lives. They are given incredibly powerful CPUs, huge storage devices, and high-speed network connections, just to be given a small task that they only need to do part of the time, or with a fraction of their capacity.” He adds on stating that the unused computing power of the majority of the computers that organizations have already deployed could be used more efficiently by increasing the service density. “In this way, we can simply deploy fewer new computers, thus reducing negative environmental impacts.”
“For example, the University of Missouri has been able to replace 2,000 sites hosted on disparate and ad-hoc infrastructures, scattered across their university campus, with dense, containerized hosting on Platform.sh. This brought about an immediate 30% reduction on hosting costs,” added Damien Tournoud. If considered the International Emissions Trading Association’s (IETA) price of carbon, that’s a reduction of 7.5 tonnes of carbon per year per US $1000 spent.
Integrating Platform.sh hosting solutions
Platform.sh procures and manages the actual hosting infrastructure on behalf of its customers. For enterprises, it means they can integrate it within their infrastructure without having to set up any infrastructure at all. Additionally, as Platform.sh manages its infrastructure to achieve high service density, the total cost of ownership of the solution might come at significant savings to the current operations or a DIY approach. Additionally, Platform.sh infrastructure provides native multi-cloud options, which further multiplies the potential reduction in emissions.
“The University of Missouri cites additional cost savings through operational and workflow efficiencies gained,” stated Damien Tournoud. He further added, “Having the hosting environment and the managed database environments consolidated under one bill, and the ability to manage different solutions (like WordPress or Drupal) within the same workflow tools has led to greater efficiency and less work to be done by their IT departments or DevOps teams.”
Preparing for future
When talking about the advancement and future plans of Platform.sh high-service density solution, Damien Tournoud said, “We are approaching the problem of carbon emissions from many directions, as it is necessary to mitigate such a fundamental problem. In addition to always striving for higher efficiency in running our computational loads, we’re using data analysis to better understand our own procurement supply chain, either to make different or better-purchasing decisions ourselves or to enable our customers to factor climate impact into their own decisions when choosing our products. Furthermore, we’ve always eschewed centralized office structures in favor of a work-from-home approach, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has allowed us to avoid many types of travel-related emissions. ”
“All options are on the table going forward, including buying carbon offsets. In the end, we all have to do what it takes to be stewards of our planet,” concluded Damien Tournoud.
Damien, a polyglot developer if there is one, leads the zoo of system engineers, front-end hackers, security experts, API-buffs and glorious DevOps people to deliver on a grand unifying vision of a cloud platform that is as robust as it is broad, as cutting-edge as it is simple. He is the architect around dozens of software projects that compose Platform.sh and the lead developer of many of them.
Previously, he was one of the top architects and contributors to Drupal 7 and a key architect behind Drupal Commerce. An alumnus of the prestigious engineering school MINES ParisTech, he has also worked in the banking, energy and government sectors.