Cloud Innovation Awards Sustainability Solution finalists: Cisco, VMware, Iron Mountain

The Silverlinings editorial team recently announced the finalists for our first-ever Cloud Innovation Awards. But who are the cream of the crop and why have they wound up at the top? Read more about our Sustainability Solutions finalists below and you'll know why they made the cut.

Before you read on, just a reminder that the Silverlinings editorial team will announce the Cloud Innovation Awards winners on December 7 at the Cloud Executive Summit, set for the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in Sonoma, Ca. Join us for the ceremony and also the full event. Register today and use code LIZ200 for $200 off a conference pass! (Liz is our Managing Editor and Chief Balloonatic, in case you don't know.)

And now, onto the finalists.

Here’s what you need to know about each Sustainability Solution finalist:

  • Cisco Systems, Cisco UCS X-Series Modular System (NASDAQ: CSCO): The Cisco UCS X-Series Modular System, was engineered to adapt, sustain and support modern cloud-delivered workloads by blending both blade and rack server benefits into a single system. Notably, the product features a modular design that enables customers to upgrade individual components (such as CPUs, GPUs and fabric modules) without having to replace the entire server and potentially waste other viable subsystems.

    Why does this matter? As Cisco explained in their entry, “The X-Series’ modular design means fewer things to build, transport, power, and dispose of at the end of their useful life.” Additionally, Cisco said circular design principles have been applied to the manufacturing process for the X-Series, meaning the product consumes roughly 50 percent less raw material over the course of three generations versus using traditional rack servers. 

    The company also offers customers a Product Takeback and Reuse Program, giving them a sustainable option to securely send back their end-of-use gear to the company free of charge. The gear is then remanufactured, reused or recycled.
  • Iron Mountain Data Centers, 24/7 Carbon Free Energy (NYSE: IRM): Iron Mountain has been offsetting 100% of its power consumption with renewable energy agreements since 2017, but hasn’t stopped there. It is striving to use 100% clean electricity all of the time in its data centers by 2040.

    While this might sound straightforward, Iron Mountain explained in their entry it involves sourcing carbon-free energy from various facilities for all of its data centers to cover every hour of the year. To do this, it has created “carbon heat maps” that make it easy to visualize carbon-free energy availability.

    “By combining data on hourly electricity consumption, production from our contracted carbon free generation assets and hourly regional electric grid emissions, the framework and visualization methods can quantify how well a given data center, and therefore our customers, is matched with carbon-free energy on any timescale,” the company wrote.

    Additional steps it is taking to achieve its goal include adopting a standard measure for PUE across its portfolio; restructuring its power purchasing; measuring and publishing CUE, or Carbon Usage Effectiveness; and undertaking a sourcing pilot program RPD Energy and Direct Energy at select facilities in the U.S. and U.K. which was later expanded to all of its U.S. locations.
  • VMware, VMware’s Telco Sustainability Framework (NYSE: VMW): VMware is working to reduce power consumption and lower emissions with a suite of products addressing all elements of the telco network, from the cloud to the core and radio access network (RAN).

    Its solution set comprises its Telco Cloud Platform and RAN Intelligent Controller. The former allows communications service providers to leverage virtualization; artificial (AI)-powered, carbon-aware workload placement; and smart server power management in their telco data centers.

    Meanwhile, the latter allows telcos to operate more efficiently with tools like traffic load monitoring to proactively power down cell sites and layers when they’re not needed; intelligent workload placement; and a spectrum multiplier tool which uses signal sampling and a novel MU-MIMO scheduler to maximize spectral efficiency.

    The TL:DR version? Analyst firm ACG found that VMware Telco Cloud Platform paired with RIC innovations can reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for telcos by 30% over three years, even as it drives down energy consumption and emissions.

Check out additional content about the Cloud Innovation Awards here:

Don't forget! Register today for the Cloud Innovation Summit and use code LIZ200 for $200 off a conference pass!