Having pioneered the development of server virtualization, VMware has significantly increased the operational efficiency of IT resources. Server virtualization is a key element of cloud computing. It allows for elasticity through rapid provisioning and de-provisioning of services. By reducing the number of servers needed, and increasing the utilization rates of servers deployed, virtualization software also decreases, often dramatically, the total energy required to support a given service. Lower power consumption associated with server virtualization reduces the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) like carbon dioxide (CO2). In fact, every server virtualized is estimated to avoid the output of approximately 4 tons of CO2 per year (download IDC report). Among other benefits, virtualization has had an impact on reducing data center space requirements, and cooling and management demands. Significantly reducing the aggregate number of servers needed in the market results in a substantial net positive impact from a sustainability perspective. According to a recent report by IDC VMware server virtualization products are estimated to have avoided 603 million megawatt hours (MWh) of power consumption, or 340 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT CO2e) since 2003. 603 million MWh is enough to power 53 million average households for one year. That’s the equivalent of avoiding the emissions from powering 43% of U.S. households for one year. In 2015 alone, the CO2 avoidance associated with customers using our products was 67 million MT CO2e. That’s equivalent to removing 14 million cars from the road for one year.
Following the publication of the IDC report, the OCTO team has created a intuitive algorithm to quantify the related energy costs and environmental impact of individual server virtualization (Carbon Calculator). Using conservative assumptions, including the power consumption of a standard 2 CPU server, the calculator compares a physical environment to a virtualized one, and summarizes the associated savings in energy usage and carbon avoided. The spirit of this calculator is to be illustrative of the overall efficiency and net-positive benefits of software-defined data center environments. Share this calculator with your CSR/Sustainability team to demonstrate the role IT can play in enabling and furthering your organization’s overall sustainability commitments. For more technical specs, please visit the VMware TCO Calculator to learn how you can reduce your overall IT costs even further or read about the full cost of ownership comparison.
We’re proud of the impact we’ve made; we know we have more to do. To us, it’s not enough to simply do less harm. We’re committed to doing more good—to putting back more than we take in society, the environment, and the global economy. This Earth Day, join us in celebrating the environmental impact that server virtualization has already delivered, as well as significant economic value to our customers. We invite you to join us in on our journey to extend those impacts even further with networking, storage and end-user computing.
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