Reduced server usage can help tech companies achieve sustainability goals

Aveekshith Bushan

Aerospike’s technology is deeply rooted in sustainability, as our database reduces the number of servers required to process billions of transactions by over 80%. As a result, the total cost of ownership (TCO) is reduced, as are carbon emissions. To tell us about where does sustainability fit in business goals for Aerospike, Aveekshith Bushan, Vice President – Asia Pacific and Japan, Aerospike interacted with Nidhi Shail Kujur, Elets News Network (ENN).

The conversation around sustainability has been around for years – what are your thoughts on tech companies contributing towards sustainability in India?

Climate change is accelerating every year and is ushering in previously unforeseeable events such as wildfires, rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, floods and droughts. These events have led organisations to prioritise the principle of sustainability and encourage employees to do the same. Most Indian tech companies have been at the forefront of environmental and social governance (ESG) through various employee and customer-oriented initiatives they conduct in the country and globally.

According to EnerData, IT systems are expected to account for almost 20% of global energy demands by 2030. As energy production is a primary source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the industry needs to act more responsibly. But there is a lack of standardized, comparable, and consistent disclosure, which creates a regulatory gap for data received from companies. While India has a long way to go to achieve ESG goals and might lag in comparison to global companies in ESG practices, there is the considerable focus being given to ESG currently, with the government and investors seeking detailed and structured disclosures from organizations. As an example, Airtel announced that ESG is one of their key Strategy Priority areas and in this regard, they have undertaken a number of initiatives to achieve their goals.

Where does sustainability fit in with business goals for Aerospike? How has implementing sustainable measures affected the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)?

Sustainability is deeply rooted in Aerospike technology, as our database reduces the number of servers required to process billions of transactions, by over 80%. The result is a reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and an equivalent reduction in carbon emissions.

TCO provides a framework for measuring how sustainability can help organisations achieve their objectives by minimising negative environmental effects. Companies should be able to do more with less, meet sustainability targets, and reduce TCO while continuing to expand and reduce their carbon footprint. It isn’t just day-to-day consumption but also the manufacturing of IT equipment that accounts for the growing carbon footprint of the IT industry. A recent IEEE paper cited the importance of software on hardware affecting energy consumption.

What steps are you taking towards being carbon-neutral?

A smarter choice for something as essential as a database goes a long way in saving costs and making sure of the future readiness of a business. With the Aerospike Hybrid Memory Architecture, infrastructure requirements are reduced by as much as 80% compared to other in-memory databases or caching technologies, leading to an equivalent reduction in carbon footprint. The database is designed to scale to millions of transactions per second and provides sub-millisecond responses for data volumes ranging from gigabytes to petabytes. When combined with reductions in emissions and costs, it makes a compelling case for businesses to adopt it worldwide.

How does Aerospike aim at achieving net zero emissions by 2070? Are you associated with the GoI or any players in the ecosystem for the same?

At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), India promised to cut its emissions to net zero by 2070. In line with this, organizations using Aerospike infrastructure have reduced their carbon footprint by over 80% compared to other in-memory database and caching technologies. Greener technologies like Aerospike will go a long way in achieving what the Government of India had committed to at the COP26 Summit in 2021, in terms of reduction of total carbon emissions by one billion tons by 2030.

What are some emerging trends in IT organisations that are helping reduce carbon footprints?

IT organisations will undoubtedly turn to technologies that reduce infrastructure costs and reduce carbon emissions. A recent benchmark study conducted by Aerospike and AWS revealed a dramatic reduction in the cost of ownership with greater efficiencies. The benchmark states that Aerospike 6 on AWS Graviton2 delivers proven price-performance benefits of up to an 18% increase in throughput while maintaining up to 27% reduction in cost for an overall improvement of 63% in price and performance. (Source: Hakha Momeni, AWS Graviton Price-Performance Calculations.)

The carbon footprint savings are noteworthy, too. AWS estimated carbon emissions produced by each cluster based on instance types, workload, and performance were reduced by 49% reduction with Aerospike when running on Graviton2.

A recent IEEE paper focused on CO2 emissions efficiency as a non-functional requirement for IT systems. It compared the emissions efficiency of two databases, one of which was ours, and their costs. It concluded that their ability to reduce emissions would not only have a positive impact on the environment but would also reduce expenditure for IT decision-makers.

According to a recent Times of India article, “From investments in improving operational sustainability through higher efficiency and responsible sourcing of materials to enhancing disclosures, top Indian companies are raising their sustainability quotient, but a lot more effort is needed to meet the net-zero targets set for the country. These include Vedanta, Aditya Birla Group, JSW Group, Adani Transmission, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Dalmia Cement, among others. A number of Aerospike customers in the Enterprise and Unicorn segments have also committed to a reduction in their Carbon Emissions.

As previously mentioned, IT organisations are working to reduce carbon emissions by leveraging databases and other technologies, e.g. cloud infrastructure, that works to enhance sustainability with greater operational efficiencies.

Can you share a few use cases?

French Ad tech giant Criteo selected Aerospike to deliver a digital transformation project that significantly improves the scale and performance of its global commerce media platform. The project will also see Criteo reduce its server count by 80 per cent, achieving millions of dollars of cost savings per year and reducing CO2 emissions.

Closer to home, a number of Unicorns in the Payment and retail space, along with large Enterprises in the Telco and Financial Segments have been using Aerospike to reduce their infrastructure footprint significantly, as they continue to scale their business with more and more data.