CloudBrew Episode #5

CIO’s are now being pulled into yet another discussion: Cloud responsibility and sustainability.

In Episode 5 of CloudBrew, CoreStack's NextGen Cloud Governance podcast, we call on the experts to discuss what real sustainability is and why it’s critical in cloud. What’s AWS doing for sustainability? What about CoreStack?

Join Sundeep Ramachandran, Sr. Solutions Architect, AWS, and Sabapathy Arumugam, CTO, CoreStack, for this important discussion.

Discover how our NextGen Cloud Governance platform brings together FinOps, SecOps, and CloudOps solutions so you can Cloud with Confidence.

Clickable Timestamps

[03:22] Sustainability is how do we meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations …
[04:39] Will you elaborate on what AWS is doing for sustainability …
[07:42] Saba, do you want to elaborate on what we're doing here at CoreStack to promote and drive sustainability …
[09:03] Enterprise Responsibility, so where does the CIO or the C-level suite play a role in these types of conversations …
[11:23] Do we have any closing words from either of you, I know we’re closing-in on time, so anything from Saba or Sundeep …

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Read Episode Transcript

Kaylee: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of CloudBrew. For those first off listeners, my name is Kaylee Raduenz, and I am on the Strategic Alliances team here at CoreStack. Today's topic is enterprise responsibility for sustainability in a cloud world. And today we have two great guests from our team here at CoreStack, as well as Amazon Web Services. Saba, do you want to do a quick intro? And then we can hand it on over to Sandeep.

Saba: Hi, Kaylee. This is Sabapathi, co-founder and CTO at CoreStack. I drive the product management and technology vision. Happy to be here in this session.

Kaylee: Likewise, thank you, Saba. And Sandeep?

Sudeep: Yes. Hi, Kaylee, thank you. Super excited to be part of the call. I'm Sandeep Ramachandran. I'm a senior partner solutions architect at AWS, and I'm based out of Minneapolis in Minnesota. I'm a technical leader for the sustainability partner segment at AWS.

Kaylee: Awesome. Thank you both so much for joining us today. So, let's kick it off. Saba, I want you to speak first on why sustainability, and then we could have Sandeep speak on his perspective from his view at AWS.

Saba: Sure. Sustainability is gaining a lot of interest and importance, and rightly so. I will focus my conversation with respect to sustainability in ICT, information, communication, and technology area. So, sustainability IT or green IT is all about how we minimize the impact on Earth's resources. ICT uses energy and energy consumption leads to carbon emission.So, data centers consume around 2 % to 3 % of the world's electricity. That means it is responsible for that much of carbon emission. The tech sector contributes to 3 % to 4 % of global carbon emission, on par with the aviation industry. So, cloud computing industry as such – approximately 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide is emitted by cloud computing industry alone, and it is going to grow. The cloud consumption is growing and it is expected to reach 350 million metric tons by 2025. So, sustainability is all about how we efficiently consume energy, which helps in sustainability, and how this energy is generated, first of all, right? So, the source of energy generation determines how much of the carbon emission that happens. So, sustainability is all about minimizing the impact on Earth's resources. So, it starts with energy usage, energy generation. And the next thing is ICT manufactures devices, and the devices manufacturer requires water and natural resources. So how efficiently that is done. How efficiently we reduce the water usage when we manufacture devices. And when the devices are upgraded, when the devices are disposed, how efficiently these are being disposed without impacting the environment. So, in essence, sustainability for ICT means how efficiently we manage the manufacturing, use, disposal of resources which minimizes the impact on Earth.

Kaylee: Thank you, Saba. And Sandeep, can you speak on your perspective from your view at AWS?

Sundeep: Absolutely, Kaylee. So, I want to build on what Saba already talked about. Sustainability is how do we meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges that we face, but it also represents one of the greatest opportunities out there. And the strongest performing businesses of tomorrow are likely going to be the ones that are able to unlock new value from both digital transformation and sustainability transformation. So, what we see as some of the key drivers, number one is customer demand. Consumers are demanding more and more responsibly made products and services. The second is around investors. You're seeing dimensions of environmental social and governance ESG factors being talked about making the headlines. Third is from employees and talent retention, talent attraction and retention. And then the regulatory landscape is actively changing. A lot of activity both in Europe and US and across the world on environmental regulations. And then lastly, it's a competitive advantage. It's a competitive positioning in the marketplace. So again, companies that do sustainability transformation, those that prioritize sustainability transformation, they're going to grow significantly faster than their peers.

Kaylee: Sandeep, great insights from what you're seeing in the tech industry today. Will you elaborate on what AWS is doing for sustainability?

Sundeep: Absolutely, Kaylee. Sustainability is, again, top of mind at AWS. And we look at it across sustainability off the cloud, which is something that AWS is responsible for. Then sustainability in the cloud, which is where customers come in. It's like for the workloads, how do we use the cloud resources in a responsible way? And then lastly, it's sustainability through the cloud. How do we partner with companies like CoreStack to go and solve real world sustainability challenges? So, I can double click on sustainability off the cloud and give you some examples of what AWS is doing. Starting with energy. Amazon is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world, and we are on track to be powered by 100 % renewable energy by 2025. So, this is five years ahead of our original 2030 commitment. Water, again, is a space that I'm very passionate about. You can imagine data centers use a lot of water. And at re:Invent, we announced our water positive commitment. So, by 2030, AWS will return more water to the communities than the water we consume in our own direct operations. So, think of technologies like evaporative cooling or recycled water being used. All of this is to significantly improve the water use efficiency of our data centers. And then on the server side of things, again, at re:Invent, we launched AWS Graviton 3. So, this is the third generation of our ARM based processor and our most energy efficient chip yet. In fact, Amazon EC2 instances that are based on Graviton 3 uses 60 % less energy for the same performance compared to a comparable EC2 instance. And then things like using low carbon concrete in the data center construction. So, all of this is to give you a flavor of what AWS is doing on the sustainability of the cloud piece. I also want to talk about the sustainability in the cloud, which, as I said, it's the customer's responsibility. And think of it as we have a sustainable infrastructure. How do we utilize that in the most efficient way possible? So, we launched a sustainability pillar for our AWS Well architected framework, and this is our best practices and guidance around architecture decisions, software patterns, hardware patterns, data patterns, and it's specific to workloads. And then the overall goal is how do we extract the most from the resources we are provisioning in the cloud? And then the last piece in sustainability through the cloud, which is how do AWS join forces with our partners like CoreStack. How do we solve real world sustainability challenges, including sustainable IT, but also going beyond and looking at things like de-carbonization or even social aspects of sustainability? So, I'm again curious to hear Saba's take on how CoreStack looks at sustainability and how you're helping your customers on that journey.

Kaylee: I know we're hearing a lot of buzz around sustainability from our partners and customers. Saba, do you want to elaborate on what we're doing here at CoreStack to promote and drive sustainability or who CoreStack is and how we're driving that?

Saba: CoreStack is a next generation cloud governance platform which offers governance for FinOps, SecOps, CloudOps in an autonomous way. CoreStack also offers a next gen assessment tool which provide assessment, automated assessment, for the best practices defined by hyperscalers. So, AWS introduced sustainability as one of the pillars in AWS well architected framework. So, we have automated assessment which assesses these controls and provides a continuous posture against the best practices defined by AWS. CorseStack is part of AWS well architected ISV Partner Program, and it has an integration with well architected tool. So that's what we do at CorseStack. And what we are doing for sustainability is that we are extending governance and sustainability. Sustainability is a very important parameter for CIOs to track now. So, we plan to provide the overall visibility of sustainability. We plan to provide posture for sustainability controls defined by hyperscalers like AWS, and we plan to provide sustainability aware cost and optimization. These are all the things that we are doing in Kaylee.

Kaylee: Awesome. Thank you. And I want to go back to today's topic, enterprise responsibility. So where does the CIO or the C level suite play a role in these types of conversations?

Saba: Let me take that question. So as Sandeep explained, there is a responsibility on the cloud service provider on sustainability, primarily how much of renewable energy that they use, how efficient they operate the data centers and all of that. There are a lot of responsibility on the enterprise side. So, when the enterprises consume cloud, it is their responsibility to optimally use the various services. They need to have a mechanism to have a visibility on what they use, what they don't use. These are all the responsibility lies on the enterprise side. It is also important for the enterprises to provide data points to the regulatory needs on how sustainable they are. That includes the usage of cloud, the traditional center that they have, they need to put together and then provide these data points.

Sundeep: Yeah, and I can also provide, add on to what Saba mentioned, what we see from customers, like the questions we get from customers are, how do I identify emission hotspots? Or how can I optimize my energy, water, and drive out waste from my operations? Or things like, how can I accelerate my innovation so that we can achieve sustainability transformation faster? Or how do I collaborate with my value chain partners? Now, in all of these questions, digital technologies can be a key enabler for all of us. And so, cloud could be a catalyst. And in my opinion, CIOs are going to be key stakeholders for businesses and enterprises to achieve that sustainability transformation. And so, the sustainability we are seeing increasingly becoming high on the agenda for CIOs because-let's just pick areal-worldd example here. You go to the grocery store, you look at a bottle of olive oil, it's a commodity. But then think of an olive oil that has a QR code, and now I'm able to scan it and I might get a full history of where was it grown? Was it responsibly grown? Was there both from an environmental and social standpoint? And all that's enabled by cloud computing. And now you're creating a differentiation for that product in the marketplace. So again, I feel like as this is the decade of action when it comes to sustainability, CIOs are going to be key stakeholders that are going to help their business to achieve that twin mandate of both digital transformation and sustainability transformation.

Kaylee: Awesome. Do we have any closing words from either of you? I know we're closing in on time, so anything from Saba or Sandeep?

Saba: Sure. I will add one point here on the responsibility for sustainability. Several enterprises have committed to using 100 % renewable energy to power their operation. And one of the key factors for achieving that is migrating to cloud because cloud service providers have a better mechanism of managing the energy efficiently and they have a mechanism to reduce the hardware waste. And cloud providers have committed to using renewable energy. So, one of the goals for the CIOs in the enterprises is to migrate to cloud if they don't have a mechanism to provide use 100 % renewable energy. That is the trend that we see now.

Sundeep: And again, I feel like that's where CoreStack comes in. You're making it easier for customers and CIOs to make that journey.

Kaylee: Awesome. Thank you both so much for being a guest on today's episode of CloudBrew. We know the idea or the plan of sustainability isn't going anywhere and the goal for all companies across industries are going to be in their full year plans and at that C-level/suite level. So, a big thank you to both of you and a big thank you to all of our listeners. Please subscribe to hear more content. We are on Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes, Audible. Until next time, thank you.

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