A Clarion Call for Data Centre Sustainability 

How VMware Aria helps organisations achieve their environmental goals 

With scorching temperatures and devastating wildfires, July 2023 has etched a grim milestone: the world’s hottest day on record. The urgency of the climate crisis has reached unparalleled heights, demanding immediate and resolute action. The outlook can seem bleak, but the good news is that innovation in the technology sector is facilitating rapid progress towards sustainability.  In this article, I’ll share some of the steps VMware is taking, and how VMware Aria can help your organisation improve achieve its environmental targets.   

Moderating our appetite for consumption 

The technology industry is under increasing scrutiny due to its considerable energy consumption, which is twice that of the aviation sector.1 As our appetite for data grows exponentially, so too does the energy consumption of the data centres which store it.  

According to the International Energy Agency, in 2021, the global energy consumption of data centres exceeded that of entire nations like South Africa, Sweden, or Egypt.2  This calls for urgent attention and innovative solutions to address the environmental impact of the technology industry and its data infrastructure. 

Addressing vulnerability and volatility 

It’s not just green credentials on the line, the economic imperative to make a sustainable transition has never been more apparent. A hyperscaler’s data centre can use as much power as 80,000 households, making them vulnerable to the volatile energy prices over the past two years.3 Power efficiency is a key factor in determining the profitability of a data centre. In addition, noncompliance with evolving ESG regulation risks organisations incurring hefty fines. Beyond financial challenges, global warming poses considerable operational threats: 

this time last year, the data centres of two major technology companies both went down during a European heatwave, due to cooling system failures.  

Greenwashing won’t wash 

Increasingly, we’re seeing the organisations we work with implement initiatives to make sustainable progress a reality. Greenwashing won’t wash; organisations are under significant stakeholder pressure to make measurable reductions in data centre emissions.  

As a result of these social, economic, and regulatory pressures, we are witnessing a paradigm shift towards sustainability, with Gartner predicting that by 2027, 75% of organizations will have implemented a data centre infrastructure sustainability program to drive cost optimisation and manage stakeholder pressures. This is a remarkable increase from only 5% in 2022. 

Empowering ESG 

Innovation in the technology sector is facilitating progress towards sustainability. Pragmatic use of AI is a game-changer, potentially saving up to 40% of the energy used on cooling systems in data centres.4 These solutions are empowering companies to reduce their energy expenditure, boost their profits and achieve their ESG targets. 

Continuing our sustainability journey 

At VMware, sustainability is a core value, and we’re constantly building upon our legacy of decarbonizing digital infrastructure for our partners and end user customers, value chains and operations.  

Take VMware Aria for example which is helping partners and end user customers navigate the green transition by offering solutions which auto-adjust applications to make them less power-intensive, making data centres more sustainable and operationally cost-effective. We provide full visibility into data centre costs, including operational expenses like power and cooling, empowering organisations to make informed decisions and sustainable progress.  

Pave the way towards a cooler, greener future 

I’m delighted that VMware partner Storm Technologies has invited me to participate in a webinar and Q&A session on 6th September focused on how you can use VMware Aria to improve data centre sustainability, paving the way towards a cooler, greener future. Sign up here to continue the conversation.