Earth Day 2021 is a timely reminder that companies’ responsibilities as global citizens must include action on environmental protection. HPE GreenLake can help IT departments support increasingly ambitious corporate goals.
Earth Day is nearly here, coming up April 22, and I was a bit surprised to learn that the event is now more than fifty years old! The first one was held in April 1970. It’s only in the past decade or so, however, that IT operations have really figured into calculations around environmental protection.
There’s no doubt that data centers are significant contributors to carbon emissions. An influential study from Berkeley Lab in 2016 estimated that U.S. data centers accounted for roughly 1.8% of the country’s electricity consumption in 2014.1 A 2020 study from the International Energy Agency noted that data centers account for about 1% of global electricity demand.2 Interestingly, the IEA notes that “if current trends in the efficiency of hardware and data center infrastructure can be maintained, global data center energy demand can remain nearly flat through 2022, despite a 60% increase in service demand.”
There’s certainly no room for complacency, though, with the continued expansion of the Internet around the globe, the rapid growth of media streaming, and the arrival of 5G. Companies are increasingly realizing that being a responsible global citizen means taking action to reduce the environmental impact of IT. It means running a sustainable business while continuing to compete effectively in the marketplace. And CIOs are being asked to document their progress towards those goals.
A green move: HPE GreenLake
Here’s a powerful sustainability-enhancing strategy that you might not have thought of: on-premises infrastructure delivered as a service. Our flagship pay-per-use offering, HPE GreenLake, applies HPE metering technologies to closely align your consumption of IT resources with your business needs, cutting out much of the waste in traditional on-prem operations. With this cloud services approach, we install HPE infrastructure at your site or a colocation facility, with capacity right-sized for your business, and we charge you based on what you use.
We help you keep an eye on usage, and you can easily scale capacity up or down as needed. In addition, you get a unified view of usage, cost performance, and compliance across your entire IT estate through HPE GreenLake Central, our self-service platform. We design, install, and support the solution for you.
HPE GreenLake can rein in environmental impacts by enabling you to:
1. Eliminate overprovisioning. The vast majority of businesses routinely buy more compute and storage capacity than they need (See this recent post: Overprovisioning costs way more than you think). It’s a time-honored practice in IT, but it’s a costly and wasteful one. A Forrester study of the total economic impact of HPE GreenLake found that customers realize 30% TCO savings due to the eliminated need for overprovisioning. HPE modelling indicates that enterprises can reduce their energy costs by more than 30% by transitioning to HPE GreenLake versus traditional capital expenditure models.
The as-a-service approach is a powerful way to tackle the ongoing challenge of ‘server sprawl’ and underutilized IT assets. It can help you reduce the physical footprint of your infrastructure, as well as reducing the environmental footprint and embodied carbon associated with the manufacture of IT equipment.
2. Reduce energy consumption. Overprovisioning goes hand-in-hand with low utilization, another common symptom of inefficient IT. Industry-wide utilization levels are still estimated3 to be around just 25%. By improving utilization rates and avoiding the need for overprovisioning, HPE GreenLake can significantly improve the energy effectiveness of the IT estate.
With HPE GreenLake compute, for example, you can achieve more compute with less energy. HPE servers come equipped with HPE Integrated Lights Out (iLO), with always-on intelligent provisioning, thermal control, and Dynamic Power Capping technology. When consumed through as-a-service delivery models, HPE ProLiant DL360 and DL380 servers deliver a 3X increase in energy effectiveness, realized with an approximate 7X performance increase for a 2X increase in power. HPE Synergy 480 servers deliver a 2.8X to 3.3X increase in energy effectiveness, realized with a 7X performance increase for a 2.1 to 2.5X increase in power.
We can help you achieve even higher levels of energy efficiency if you choose our managed services offering, HPE GreenLake Management Services. Our experts remotely monitor, operate, and optimize your infrastructure and applications and identify potential improvements for your data center, often matching or exceeding the energy efficiency of public cloud providers, for both cloud and non-cloud environments.
3. Optimize asset management. We take the burden of IT lifecycle management off your hands while ensuring you get the latest, energy-efficient technologies. With all of our HPE GreenLake cloud services, HPE retains ownership of the equipment. When you’re no longer using it, we can ensure that it’s responsibly refurbished and doesn’t become e-waste. In fact, if you choose, we can set up your HPE GreenLake solution with preowned gear, too. HPE IT asset lifecycle solutions are a big step towards creating truly circular IT operations.
In general, it’s helpful to think in terms of a two-pronged strategy for more sustainable IT: choosing the most efficient products, and using those products most effectively. HPE’s Design for Environment program ensures that we’re you’re top choice for that first part. For example, we just learned that HPE has become the first vendor to have its servers certified for sustainability by TCO Certified, a global sustainability certification for IT products. “Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the first brand whose servers meet the tough criteria in TCO Certified for data center products,” according to the organization’s press release.4 HPE GreenLake is your best ally for the second part of your two-fold strategy, with a pay-as-you-go approach for a more effective, efficient, and resilient infrastructure.
Flattening the energy curve
Here’s another thing to consider: HPE GreenLake can help you tap into the sustainability advantages of colocation providers. These companies run very ambitious environmental programs, and they routinely provide reports that customers can use for their own reporting. (See this recent post: The perfect duo to simplify IT and boost sustainability: Colocation and as-a-service infrastructure). HPE recently announced that we’ve strengthened our partnerships with colocation leaders CyrusOne and Equinix.
Whether the choice is a colo or an on-site data center, every company can play a role in protecting the environment while reducing IT costs by maintaining and improving the efficiency of its IT infrastructure, as the IEA report that I mentioned earlier suggests. With the right strategies and technologies, businesses can continue to provide the digital services that customers – and the world at large – need, while helping to flatten the global energy demand curve.
Click on the image below to view an infographic overview of HPE GreenLake’s sustainability advantages, with some eye-opening stats.
Learn more about HPE GreenLake cloud services, the cloud that comes to wherever your apps and data live.
3. Beyond PUE: Tackling IT’s wasted terawatts, Uptime Institute, 2020
4. First servers for data centers certified for sustainability, TCO Certified, 2021
Hewlett Packard Enterprise