I recently wrote an article entitled “COP26 has highlighted that to combat emissions, everyone needs to start taking individual responsibility” which offered a use case to help reduce emissions. As a follow-up, here are my top 5 tips for cutting your IT department’s Carbon Footprint to a fraction of what it probably is today.
1. Switching off development and test environments can save c.50 – 60% over leaving them running while doing nothing overnight.
2. Making development and test environments dynamic, (creating them using automation when required and tearing them down when not needed), can save c.80% over leaving them always-on.
3. Autoscaling Production and other Environments (according to load requirements) can save c.50% over leaving unused resources online.
4. Using auto-failover across Cloud Availability Zones removes the need for Disaster Recovery (DR) infrastructure, saving c.50%.
5. Automating the use of cheaper computer resources by bidding for under-utilised Cloud capacity, can also save c.70%!
All the above entail a simple computer resource demand-reduction approach that saves energy, as well as a boatload of cash, and throttles back Cloud supplier demand. In turn, the Cloud suppliers can throttle back their resources, they won’t want to burn money on unused servers if they’re not needed. So you’re allowing them to save energy and reduce their carbon footprints too. The above 5 tips will also work in your own datacentres, if you’re using the right technologies. I’ll discuss that in a future article but get in touch if you want to know more earlier.
Clearly, to enable the savings, you will need to use automation and here you have a choice:
1. Build all the automation yourselves. But do you have the specialist skills, time and budget?
2. Get contractors to build it. But do you want to spend your budget on keeping them long-term? How do you ensure the skills transfer to minimise that spend (leading back to the previous point)?
3. Buy it in. Automations aren’t your primary business focus. They’re a specific skill -highly specialist and taking investment and time to build. It’s rarely cost-effective for individual companies to build themselves. Buy it in makes sense!
Of course, I’m somewhat biased, bearing in mind that this is part of what we do. But I’ve seen so many of these automation projects spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, only to fail. We’ve seen that the cost can be funded out of the savings you’ll make. I’m sure your FD / CFO will thank you, plus there will be a significant contribution to your organisation’s Carbon Reduction credentials!
Please get in touch if you think I can help.