Pioneering Greener Technology Solutions with Microsoft Azure

Migrating Data Centres to Cloud

Read how Version 1 helped this energy industry leader, migrate over 700VM to the cloud, by delivering a real sustainable difference.

Our customer is a leading energy company whose goal is to invest in renewable energy sources and solutions and pave the way to a cleaner and brighter future for our planet. At Version 1, our Environmental Economic, Social, and Governance (ESG) mission speaks directly to our customer’s ESG targets, and our partner for this project – Microsoft’s, Sustainability Commitments as well.   

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CLOUDS ABOVE MOUNTAIN

Introduction

When our customer was looking to migrate their on-premise datacentre to the cloud, Version 1 was a perfect choice. Whilst a larger Version 1 team was involved for the overall migration exercise, Version 1’s ‘Innovation Labs’, in partnership with Microsoft,  designed a solution to estimate our customer’s carbon emission savings resulting from their cloud migration. This project is significant to both our customer and Version 1 as it aligns with our environment and sustainability mission for 2025.

 

 

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The Challenge

Implementing cloud migration of over 700 VMs

Our customer’s cloud migration consisted of over 700 VMs (virtual machines) spread across two datacentres. These data centres required significant costly maintenance and resource provisionsing/acquisition. As a result of the migration not only will they benefit by reducing the total cost of ownership, but also from reducing their carbon footprint by virtue of moving to cloud. This migration would serve as a helpful yardstick to measure the effectiveness of such savings on our customer’s carbon net-zero mission.

While theoretical formulas exist to calculate the carbon emissions savings from moving workloads to the cloud, the team working on this project found a lack of agreed methodology within the industry to calculate the same, as research in this field is still very nascent.

Creative Solutions

This project was led by Version 1 Innovation Labs along with teams from Microsoft

The first step was measuring and comparing carbon emissions from over 700 VMs and their recommended Azure alternatives. These figures then provided our customer with an estimate of their carbon savings if they were to migrate their workload to the cloud.

As part of this solution, the Innovation Labs developed a Web API that calculates datacentre carbon emissions based on industry benchmarks and published studies on operational power consumption and manufacturing emissions. These savings were then projected and visualised on to a Microsoft Power BI dashboard to provide context about to carbon emission reduction equivalencies.

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Real Difference...

...Delivered

As a result of calculating the carbon emission savings of cloud migration of 700+ virtual servers, we estimated savings of up to 50% in the first year and going up to 85% in the fifth year.  

Microsoft integrated the results of the calculation within their sustainability dashboard showing the estimated carbon emission savings over a 5-year period as a result of migrating to Azure.

The interactive dashboard also presents the carbon emission reduction equivalencies in terms of passenger cars driven, home energy consumption and areas of forest free to sequester carbon emissions from other sources. Read more about our unique proposition – the Migration Carbon Emission Calculator here.

Looking Forward - Next Steps

Moving forward, the Innovation Labs plan to make the Web API available on the customer’s own tenancy. This is beneficial as it allows them to perform calculations on varying inputs. Furthermore, we intend to produce a modified version of the dashboard to the Web API to remove the dependence on Microsoft for producing the dashboard for each use case.

The Web API is designed for Azure migrations; however, the same methodology would also work for migrations to other Cloud Service Providers. We would look to extend the API to be cloud agnostic, provided we can source a dataset with a cloud service provider instance’s underlying physical machine specification. We recognise that there is potential for other methodologies due to ongoing and new research, and we are keen to include and adapt to any such advancements.   

We recognise that there is potential for other methodologies due to ongoing and new research, and we are keen to include and adapt to any such advancements. 

At the Innovation Labs, we believe that innovation is key to deliver customer success, and stay at the forefront of technology, and use technology to make a real difference. We are happy to say that we were able to achieve this with our customer.