Virtualization and Sustainability, How Big Data Makes a Logical Partnership Happen


By Max Tau, Capgemini Netherlands

This week, SAP has made it clear to me that they are getting serious about the cloud. How can the growing competition within the cloud marketplace benefit sustainability? 

In the battle for Cloud based market share, Oracle, IBM and SAP have played tit for tat with several high level acquisitions and by hard selling new service lines oriented in the virtual sphere. From hosting HR applications to the virtualization of document mgmt services, cloud has such a broad range of relevance that (in the interest of time) we will focus on how sustainability targets can be realized by jumping into the cloud.

The virtual domain has often been plagued by issues surrounding security. For a long time, anything but a dedicated data center with Fort Knox style paramilitary units guarding the perimeter was accepted.

Now it seems that the competition for market share in the virtualization marketplace is causing hearts to warm to the white fluffy concept.

Proof in the Pudding

SAP recently spent $4.3 billion on Ariba®, an American cloud-based application company that specializes in inter-enterprise commerce operations. That follows the purchase of SuccessFactors™, a provider of “cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions”, in 2011 also for over $4 billion.

So what does this race to the top of the cloud mean for sustainability?

How can we visualize the virtualization in relation to our sustainability targets?

The green data center is and will be a major topic here on the Capgemini Sustainability Blog, and it’s a logical point of pride for a company that has revolutionized data centers through Merlin, the data center of the future. However, with Capgemini’s major partners and many of our clients making the shift towards virtualization, will we see shared infrastructure optimizing the impact of our steps towards greening IT?

According to a report commissioned by the Carbon Disclosure Project, and executed by independent analyst firm Verdantix, the potential in regards to reaching carbon targets and financial savings for firms opting to utilize a cloud based application infrastructure is remarkable. In a recent article published by SAP, the findings are cited as a driver for the momentum towards virtualization as part of a CSR or sustainability strategy.

“Their findings suggest that if US companies with turnover in excess of $1bn were to spend 69% of their infrastructure, platform and software budgets on cloud services then by 2020 they would reap energy savings of $12.3 billion and carbon reductions equivalent to 200 million barrels of oil — enough to power 5.7 million cars for one year. That’s big.

Even moving a single HR application to the public cloud could save one of these companies $12 million over five years and cut CO2 emissions by 30,000 metric tons, the equivalent of getting 5900 cars off the road for a year. A private cloud could save them $5 million over five years and cut emissions by 25,000 metric tons, the equivalent of 4900 fewer cars on the road for a year, which while not quite as impressive is still a big win.”

While Capgemini continues to dedicate itself in a holistic approach to reaching sustainability targets, understanding the benefit of greening data management is vital.

To find out more about Capgemini’s Cloud Transformation Services, check out our thoughtleadership here.

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