Irish start-up Beeyon, announced recently at the EU Covenant of Mayors in Brussels, and in a live broadcast with EU Vice-president for the Energy Union, Mr Maros Sefcovic, an ambitious campaign to reduce the carbon footprint of Europe’s cloud activity by one million tonnes, and save the industry and users €750 million per year in operational costs. First, we asked CEO Assoc. Prof Damian Dalton to introduce Beeyon and explain why he thinks this target can be achieved.

Beeyon has developed an innovative business-centric energy, performance and cost management system called Papillon. It gives comprehensive control of your cloud operating and capital costs through user-specified business and service KPI’s that direct energy-saving actions, increase I.T asset productivity and reduce carbon footprints. An organisation can now view its cloud costs through different prisms ranging from kWh per server or rack to more business-focused metrics like the operational costs per customer transaction, or those associated with delivering a particular online service. Furthermore, it’s a complete software solution, unlike conventional energy metering solutions. Installation takes minutes and involves no downtime or retro-fitting. Simplicity and ease of use was a core attribute in the design process.

Energy management in data centres has been very inefficient, due to installation problems and the limited data value of ordinary metering. In a typical data centre, 30% of servers deliver no useful work for 95% of the time, while consuming 50% of their maximum energy consumption. Data centre operational costs would be 30% lower with effective energy management, saving the data centre industry €60 Billion/year, and over 100 million tonnes in CO2e emissions. A 1kW idle server in a colocation environment wastes more than €3,500/year, in electricity alone.

Papillon finds and quantifies these inefficiencies in an automated audit process, that can be conducted at a physical and business object level. All data is secured behind the client’s firewall.

Whether you are the data centre manager, CIO, CFO or CEO, Papillon enables you to have greater control and visibility of your cloud in the context of the KPIs relevant to your responsibilities. All stakeholders can contribute solutions for a more efficient and greener cloud.

If only 1 out of 25 idle servers in Europe are taken out of operation we will achieve our goal. Of course, there are other energy-saving actions that can also be taken.

We are confident, that with greater environmental awareness and support, and the introduction of better management practices facilitated by new technologies like Papillon, the One Million Tonnes Campaign is quite attainable.

What has been the market reaction to Papillon?

Some have viewed this as just another DCIM tool without realising that we are talking about a paradigm shift. The performance, energy and carbon footprint of any computer environment, server, operating system, virtualised machine and service can now be monitored and managed. The quality and amount of data provided by Papillon is vastly superior compared to conventional metering approaches. This data combined with emerging A.I. and data analytic tools will transform the data centre management landscape.

We are looking at accurate predictive analysis, smarter data centres, more creative business models and enhanced customer experiences and options. Already this potential has been recognised by various respected industry commentators and companies.

We were nominated finalists in the DataCentreDynamics EMEA industry awards in London in 2015, the only Irish company to be accepted into the EU’s largest sustainable energy programme, Innoenergy, and we were the IEEE Irish start-up winners in 2017 in Silicon Valley. This year we also became a MarketZone Alliance Partner of U.S  multi-national BMC. We also have a number of trials proceeding in large government agencies and companies in the U.K. All in all, we are very encouraged.

Where did the idea originate and what is the purpose of the One Million Tonnes Campaign?

Talking to cloud users and providers it emerged that many had a CSR agenda which had mandated a more sustainable approach to their computing policy. They realised that saving the environment was also saving them money. Furthermore, the public has greater respect for companies that enshrine sustainability in their business strategy. What seemed to be lacking was the knowledge of best practice in the field and a forum where SMEs and large enterprises could learn and exchange ideas from each others experience. The concept of an online community that would collectively address the sustainability challenges of the data centre industry, through open dialogue and access to a range of resources and tools, not just Papillon, seemed a way to fulfil all objectives and aspirations. Why a million tonnes target? Well, don’t we all try a bit harder when we have targets? Also, it captures the attention and imagination of participants and the public.

At what stage is the campaign?

Phase one of the campaign started in early June 2018. Companies and organisations are invited to become corporate sponsors through our Adopt-a-tree programme. Sponsors can decarbonise their laptop or server carbon footprint by adopting 10 or  40 trees in Beeyon’s Wicklow plantation. As part of the special sponsors’ package, companies will be included in all media publicity throughout Europe, highlighting their commitment to sustainability. They will also have the opportunity to contribute suggestions on topics and themes they would like covered and full access to the online resources. An added benefit is a substantial discount on a Papillon audit of their I.T assets. For the price of a server can reduce their energy costs by several 10s thousand euros.

In August the One Million Tonnes Campaign will go live and membership will be open to everyone.

Full details of the campaign can be found at www.beeyon.com/the-one-million-tonnes-campaign/

And finally, what outcomes and expectation do you have from the campaign?

I hope that everyone will realise that it is imperative that we mitigate the effects of climate change due to economic activity. There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to do so. We need to act now, and fortunately, there are technologies we can employ so that both the environment and business are winners.

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