Seeking Sustainable IT? Use Data Virtualization

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Green is the Goal

Conserve energy! Become carbon neutral! Transition to renewable sources! 

Adopting more sustainable business practices is a near-universal objective at organizations today. But this goal can be challenging for the IT groups responsible for your company’s vast technology footprint, which spans power hungry laptops, desktops, servers, and networks. 

If you are like many on this journey, your path to greener IT practices and a lower environmental impact may not yet be clear. To guide your journey, ask yourself three questions: 

  • What are our best sustainable IT improvement opportunities?
  • Where can we use greener methods instead?
  • How can we transition quickly so we can be greener sooner?

Your Best Sustainable IT Improvement Opportunities 

Opportunity 1: Stop copying so much data

Your first opportunity may be your largest. In its annual Worldwide Global Datasphere Forecast, 2019-2023, IDC projected that only 15% of annual data growth is actually net new data. That means 85% of data growth results from copying data you already have. 

Does that figure seem excessive, especially when more copies mean more storage, which requires servers that consume yet more power? Granted, you need backups, but even if you back up all your new data twice, you still consume 50% more energy to store all the other extra copies.   

Opportunity 2: Improve query efficiency

The primary driver behind data’s growth is business’ reliance on data as fuel for analytical insight. Some analytic tools query data efficiently. But many do not, instead optimizing other aspects such as visualization. Poorly optimized queries require significantly more processing resources and thus higher energy consumption.

This is especially true for federated queries across multiple systems such as when bringing together a 360-degree view of customer activities from master data management, order management, accounts receivable, sales and service automation, marketing automation, and the customer data warehouse.  

Opportunity 3: Retire personal datasets and fit-for-purpose data marts 

As organizations like yours become more data-dependent, your business users team with IT to address your most critical data-driven business opportunities. Achieving the business impact is the mutual goal, though sustainable resource use may not be a priority.  

As a result, whenever a new opportunity presents itself, your business teams often build yet another fit-for-purpose data mart. The same is true for datasets, where it seems everyone maintains their personal  top customers lists, favorite category codes, and more. These personal datasets and fit-for-purpose marts live on and consume storage and backup resources—often long after their business purpose has gone away. 

Opportunity 4: Migrate to the cloud 

Leading cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have developed world-class cloud data centers whose sustainability levels are difficult for organizations like yours to match because: 

  • They optimize server performance and usage elastically with demand, powering down what isn’t needed. 
  • Their higher server utilization means fewer servers required, avoiding the environmental impact that building extra servers would require.  
  • Their cloud data centers are housed in modern, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified structures, often located to take advantage of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric. 

Data Virtualization: One Greener Method to Address Four Opportunities

Data virtualization middleware integrates data silos and provides one virtual place to access, combine, and provision all your data. Business-friendly data views simplify access and hide IT complexity. Agile data engineering speeds time-to-solution, reduces costs, and delivers the most up-to-date and complete information to your business. See Ten Things You Need to Know About Data Virtualization to learn more.

How data virtualization helps you copy less data

Data virtualization is a far more sustainable approach to data integration than physical data consolidation, where the process of extract, transform, and load results in lots of replicated data copies. Temporary staging areas, large centralized data warehouses, and multiple dependent data marts are typical examples of these extra copies. With data virtualization, fewer data copies equal less energy consumed: what a simple way to become greener!

How data virtualization helps you optimize your queries 

Data virtualization combines cutting-edge optimization techniques and modern technology infrastructure to intelligently optimize queries and do so far more efficiently than most analytics tools. Multiplied by the thousands of queries each day at large organizations, these energy savings add up. An added benefit is cost savings, especially in cloud environments where you pay for incremental workload. 

How data virtualization helps you retire personal data sets and fit-for-purpose data marts

One of data virtualization’s greatest business benefits is its ability to provide trusted, consistent business-friendly datasets that are easy for your business users to access, understand, and adopt. These virtualized datasets can be reused across many use cases lessening demand for so many personal datasets and fit-for-purpose marts.  

For example, a large energy company used data virtualization to provide over 600 standard datasets shared by several thousands users. As a result, they retired thousands of personal datasets and over one hundred small data marts, yielding significant storage and energy savings. 

How data virtualization helps you migrate to the cloud faster

Given the energy savings the cloud offers, migrating sooner accelerates your sustainable IT success. But migrating from on-premises to the cloud can be a painstaking process—one that must be done repeatedly as you move your data sources, processing, and applications. 

Knowing this, doesn’t it make sense to invest in repeatable cloud migration methods and tools? Data virtualization is a proven data migration workhorse. To see how you can use data virtualization to accelerate your cloud migration, read Accelerating Workload Migration to the Cloud Using Data Virtualization

Data Virtualization: Your Fast Path to Greener IT 

According to American environmentalist, author, and activist Paul Hawken, “The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces, or at least not try to defy them.” Data virtualization provides a natural IT force that lets you:

  • Copy less data
  • Optimize your queries
  • Retire personal datasets and fit-for-purpose data marts 
  • Migrate to the cloud faster
One of data virtualization’s greatest business benefits is its ability to provide trusted, consistent business-friendly datasets that are easy for your business users to access, understand, and adopt. Click To Tweet

If you are concerned about IT sustainability and want to help your organization become greener sooner, heed the words of Mahatma Gandhi and “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Data virtualization helps you be that change.