Clouds need to get cleaner. In what is something of a virtual-to-physical paradox, we are now thinking more clearly about the cost of real cloud computing to the planet, despite it being an essentially abstract virtual service delivery methodology of ephemeral IT assets and functions. .
Datacenter technology has long focused on its power usage efficiency (PUE) ratings to monitor power, performance, and cooling costs. But of late we have been focusing on how much cloud capacity is oversold, underutilized and perhaps now also ‘overprogrammed’, i.e. used by software application development engineers in ways that are unnecessary, repetitive and potentially avoidable due to some pre-existing functionality already created that can be integrated.
As flexible as the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud computing pricing model is, the cloud is typically over-provisioned rather than under-provisioned. A two-way street, the responsibility for this reality lies both with consumers (companies) who buy the cloud and with the Cloud Services Provider (CSP) hyperscalers who sell it.
Cycloid is a platform engineering company based in France that wants to help clean up the planet’s collective cloud consumption. Its Cloud Carbon Footprint software is described as a ‘GreenOps’ tool that displays cloud carbon footprint data along with cloud costs.
A culture of sobriety
Embedded within the Cycloid FinOps Cloud Cost Management module, the Cloud Carbon Footprint is designed to encourage a ‘culture of sobriety’ that flows through an organization from the bottom up, enabling smarter, more environmentally conscious cloud consumption decisions at all levels of an organization. business .
Digital technologies certainly present an opportunity for a more sustainable world and additionally a challenge for sustainability. On the one hand, digital increases the efficiency with which we use resources, but the more sophisticated technology becomes, the more dependent it becomes on servers, networks and endpoints.
The direct energy footprint of IT was recently estimated by The Shift Project to be increasing by around 9% per year. Cloud Carbon Footprint uses sophisticated proprietary carbon footprint methodology combined with publicly available datacenter carbon footprint metrics to provide clarity on an organization’s overall cloud carbon footprint.
Grid emissions metrics
Updated daily, the tool builds a picture of an organization’s environmental impact by ingesting and analyzing cloud usage data – including cloud energy conversion, energy use efficiency and grid emissions metrics – all aimed at enabling emissions of carbon can be traced over time.
The methodology used to calculate an organization’s cloud carbon footprint consists of granular carbon emissions data, which is displayed alongside the cloud cost data in the Cycloid Cloud Cost Management module, which can be filtered by provider of cloud services, project, region or tag criteria to give companies the intelligence they need to try to reduce their carbon footprint in the cloud.
“Costs associated with cloud waste or overprovisioning exceeded $26.8 billion in 2022, according to recent Gartner research. This is not only financially inefficient, it is completely unnecessary from an environmental point of view,” said Benjamin Brial, founder of Cycloid.
Brial suggests that by giving organizations the opportunity to analyze real carbon emissions data, his company’s Cloud Carbon Footprint feature is designed to inspire better, greener choices at all levels of an organization.
“Only when we understand the role we all have to play in reducing carbon emissions will organizations begin to prioritize the most efficient use of resources and begin their journey towards realizing their sustainability and IT goals,” suggested Brial.
Using the concept of ‘stacks’ to provide a quick and easy way to design, build and organize replicable automation such as configuration management, infrastructure as code (IaC) and continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, Cycloid is in the process of developing and releasing a suite of management tools to help organizations automate and scale their DevOps and hybrid cloud strategies.
Cloud developer efficiency
The company provides an end-to-end hybrid cloud DevOps platform that aims to improve the overall developer experience (DevX), helping developers be more efficient in their daily operations and avoiding repetitive manual tasks with a set of management tools that provide visibility, automation, monitoring, and financial controls into workflows, enabling organizations to accelerate DevOps and cloud adoption.
In addition to enhancing its platform with features to foster an enriched developer experience that empowers and enhances DevOps teams, the company is dedicated to improving processes with a variety of new and related GreenOps and FinOps features.
It was perhaps two decades ago that we first heard IBM speak at length about Ops, i.e. operations in a sense that would lead us to integrate the work of those systems administrators, testers, database administrators and other related personnel into the IT machines in development developer circles more directly… a move that led us to DevOps and GitOps (an extension of DevOps with an emphasis on version control, very popular in cloud engineering these days).
Now we have GreenOps and FinOps (very well defined by Intel as a management practice that promotes shared responsibility for an organization’s cloud computing costs and infrastructure), which should help us make better use of the planet’s software resources.
Smarter planet anyone? Yes please.