Why Energy Sobriety Should Be Top of Mind for Every Business Leader This Year

Vincent Méoc, Solution Architect, VMware 

The energy crisis that has rocked Europe has seen huge rises in bills, affecting individuals and businesses alike. Energy-intensive industries in particular – like manufacturing – have felt the strain, but so too have most businesses and organizations, including schools, hospitals and care homes. 

As energy costs rise along the supply chain, inflation has rocketed. Businesses that want to stay afloat must find ways to cut their energy consumption. Data centers account for around 4% of all electricity consumed globally, but critical IT infrastructure such as data centres, the cloud and edge tend to be left operating at non-peak times. Addressing this inefficiency makes technology a key consideration for businesses who want to optimize their energy consumption.  

After all, it’s not just rising energy costs putting pressure on businesses: there are environmental pressures associated with the energy they’re using too. Luckily, there are steps businesses can take to reduce the carbon footprint of their IT estates, which we’ll explore below.  

Following best practice to reduce energy consumption  

Reducing energy bills and cutting carbon emissions are complex issues and not without their challenges. But other business priorities can take precedence, which makes setting effective sustainability goals difficult and leaves companies chasing vanity metrics instead. Knowing where to start can be a challenge in itself, and many companies still need education on how to assess their IT estate. 

This is where VMware can help. We have a long history of helping our customers reduce their energy consumption, with resource optimization at the core of our mission. To help companies chart the right sustainability journey, we’ve developed a best practice maturity model that can see them through from taking that first assessment to monitoring and tracking their progress.  

Firstly, we recommend using our Aria Suite capabilities to quickly understand how efficient (or not) their multi-cloud environment is. Based on these findings, we can map both short- and long-term actions in line with their specific company ambitions, to help them address their use of resources and ultimately reduce energy consumption. 

In the short term, actions are focused on providing visibility into energy consumption and CO2 emissions. What gets measured gets managed, so providing dashboards that can show Datacenters and Apps teams how their data centers and applications impact energy consumption and CO2 emissions is a key first step.  

In the longer term, taking action to address resource utilization is critical for companies that want to make the biggest gains, so fewer resources are left sitting around unused. Multi-cloud optimization can help reduce resource waste, which can equate to between 10% to 45% of an IT environment.  

Similarly, automating workloads can have a big impact. We’re seeing many customers add automated leases to their workloads to clean up their data centers when workloads aren’t necessary. Some customers have even started automatic shutdown of their non-critical workloads overnight or during weekends, helping to cut energy consumption significantly. 

Finally, we can help organizations track their progress on their sustainability journey, by providing them with a ‘green score’ summarizing their efficiency, clean demand and power sources usage, which can then be used as a reference for success down the line. 

The results speak for themselves  

Creating an energy reduction plan such as this is win-win for organizations. By optimizing their energy consumption, they will be able to simultaneously reduce costs while having a positive impact on the environment. 

For example, European insurance company Groupama successfully leveraged VMware technologies to reduce its virtual compute infrastructure by 29%, which has had an immediate impact on reducing energy consumption.  

The French Telecoms group, Orange, has also consolidated legacy data centres and migrated its workloads to modern on-premises data centres leveraging the Aria Automation solution. The firm has achieved more efficient operations and applied cloud best practices with Aria Automation such as managing the entire end-to-end lifecycle of its workloads using leases and reclamation systems. Orange was able to save 10% of otherwise wasted resources annually and increased its consolidation ratio by a factor of ten. These improvements had a direct impact on its CO2 balance sheet, since ordering new servers accounts for, on average, 1.5 CO2eq metric tons. 

Taking the first step  

As energy costs are likely to continue to rise into 2023, organizations must put lower usage at the top of their agenda. There are great opportunities to make a positive difference here. For instance, cost savings, environmental benefits, and an improved company image both within the organization and outside of it. 

For companies looking to reduce their energy consumption, getting in touch with us to discuss the short-term and the longer-term plans is an easy place to start. For more information about VMware’s multi-cloud solutions, visit our dedicated resource here. 



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