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The Myth of Green HPC

Today, we are learning more and more about sustainability, and how this concept is one of the most important when protecting the environment. Often being broken into three core concepts: economic, environmental, and social, more sustainability conversations are being created. Whether it’s in the context of how we go about our everyday lives to what changes businesses are making to become more sustainable.

Questions like; how green is, your business? And What is your business doing to reduce its carbon footprint? Are being asked on a more frequent basis.

Are We Making a Negative Impact?

Acknowledging sustainability is a crucial element of today’s society, could there be more we should do in the industry of High-Performance Computing (HPC)?

If the decisions we make today, contribute to a negative impact on the planet, then highlighting the importance is never enough. After all, we are talking about protecting our planet against damage and destruction for our future generations.

For an industry, such as High-Performance Computing where size, performance and speed are all a necessary function, what can sustainability look like for our industry. HPC whichever solution you choose will always require components which will                                                                                                               affect the environment.

Can HPC be Carbon Neutral?

The question we would like to ask is can HPC be Carbon Neutral? Can HPC ever be considered truly “GREEN” and contribute to the sustainability of the planet.

Surely due to the nature of HPC, a technology solution that requires clusters of powerful processors to function, our industry is one that can never be truly classified as totally green.

The whole purpose of HPC is to process massive amounts of data and solve complex problems at speed. How can that level of technology ever be classified as carbon neutral?

A Change of Thinking

Perhaps HPC needs to consider a change of perspective. Should there be a shift in our thought process and focus? Could our efforts be centered on what needs to happen to allow HPC to become greener?

And surely, the biggest way to help change our industry, moving it forward in the sustainability debate, is through a change of thinking and attitude. If we can bring environmental considerations into what we do, undoubtedly this must be a positive step.

For some of us, this could be easier said than done, especially in the world of business.                                                                                                                                   Business decisions made to deliver longevity and
                                                                                                               on-going success may not be the best fit for the
                                                                                                               environment.

Whilst for some those decisions may lie on their consciences, the reality is they are absolutely necessary for the on-going success of that organisation.

Small Changes, Big Impact?

Over the course of the next few months, the team at Red Oak Consulting will be writing a series of blogs focused on the High-Performance Computing industry and the environment.

We aim to take you on a journey where we dispel myths. We highlight the reality of the HPC industry and our sustainability commitment. We will look at what can be done for us all to play our part in this global conundrum. We shall also look at the questions we should all be asking, with the arguments for and against.

As the UK’s leading HPC & Cloud consultancy we will be taking an unbiased view comparing the route of HPC delivery; On-Premises to Cloud.

Looking at how HPC is used and what potential small changes could have the biggest impact to the Greener, Sustainability debate.

Our first blog will be focusing on the big three Cloud providers, Azure, AWS, and GCP. Some of the areas which will be covered and reviewed will be their sustainability goals, current performance, and the tools they offer to be more sustainable on the cloud.

Due to be issued on the 26th of June – Watch this space!

 

Vicki Lockhart
Sales & Marketing Director
Red Oak Consulting

Old servers in an overgrown dark room

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