COP28: Combatting Global Environmental Issues Poses Complex Challenges

Haidar Aziz, the Managing Director for META at VAST Data, says his company prioritises energy efficiency and sustainability in its solutions

Please tell us about your efforts that ensure a sustainable and equitable digital future.
At VAST Data, our commitment to a sustainable and equitable digital future is at the forefront. Last year, VAST published its first Sustainability Report, which details the company’s sustainability initiatives and progress. The report highlights how our data platforms help customers achieve a remarkable 90% energy savings throughout 10 years, contributing significantly to carbon emission reductions. At VAST Data, this achievement is made possible by combining our advanced technology with global data algorithms. The synergy of cutting-edge features like hyperscale flash, breakthrough erasure code efficiency, global data reduction, and reduced compute power collectively presents a compelling environmentally friendly solution for organisations aiming to enhance energy efficiency.

VAST Data prioritises energy efficiency and sustainability in its solutions, leveraging flash-based storage technology known for its lower power consumption and reduced heat generation compared to traditional disk drives. Advanced data reduction techniques, such as deduplication and compression, further contribute by eliminating redundant data and decreasing storage capacity requirements. The disaggregated architecture allows independent scaling of computing and storage, preventing resource overprovisioning and optimising energy usage.

What is your commitment to combat climate change?
At VAST Data, our commitment to combat climate change is integral to our mission. Acknowledging the ever-evolving landscape of corporate purpose, we recognise the significance of prioritising environmental considerations. In the face of escalating global energy costs, our focus on IT efficiency becomes a dual win—benefiting both the planet and organisational balance sheets. Moreover, given the influx and presence of huge amounts of data, we emphasise the imperative of building environmentally friendly data centres.

The VAST Data Platform exemplifies our dedication to sustainability, delivering efficiency innovations that empower our customers to pursue ambitious environmental goals. Through a comprehensive sustainability program, we systematically address waste, water conservation, and energy efficiency, steadfastly diminishing our operational footprint.

What are the challenges in combatting global environmental issues?
Combatting global environmental issues poses complex challenges, mirroring the intricate nature of handling the surge in enterprise data. The sheer volume, diverse formats, and scattered nature of data demand streamlined solutions for timely insights. Data locality introduces hurdles, requiring enterprises to navigate information across edge, cloud, and enterprise environments. Additionally, the surge in unstructured data amplifies the challenge of making vast datasets queryable.

VAST Data is committed to addressing these enterprise data challenges comprehensively. In the broader context of global environmental issues, this complexity aligns with the transformative shifts needed in energy, transportation, and industry to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. We, at VAST Data, remain dedicated to leveraging technology as a catalyst for positive change, contributing to a more sustainable future amidst the collaborative efforts required to safeguard the planet.

What sort of trends do you foresee in the areas of sustainability and technology?
VAST Data stands at the forefront of key trends shaping the future of data management and storage. The exponential growth of unstructured data, particularly in multimedia content and sensor data, necessitates advanced solutions beyond traditional databases. VAST Data’s platform excels in handling and processing such data at scale. Flash-based storage technology, notably SSDs, gains prominence for its speed, enhancing high-speed data processing and AI/ML workloads.

Additionally, the adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud strategies by organisations highlights the need for future data management solutions to seamlessly integrate and enable data mobility across diverse environments. Lastly, a growing emphasis on environmental sustainability underscores the importance of solutions that minimise the carbon footprint and optimise power consumption, aligning with the integration of renewable energy sources.

How do you envision your role in shaping a more sustainable future in 2024 and beyond?
Data, often dubbed the “new oil,” is a transformative asset propelling innovation across industries. In our current landscape dominated by AI algorithms, data is the driving force behind progress. However, we face a crucial juncture where economic ambitions intersect with the imperative for environmental responsibility. In 2024 and beyond, VAST Data is positioned as a trailblazer in steering towards a more sustainable future.

Beyond pioneering innovative data storage solutions, our commitment deepens as we amplify efforts to foster sustainability throughout our operations and supply chain. Actively engaging in industry partnerships, we will lead initiatives advancing sustainability standards for data centres. Our vision entails seamlessly integrating technology with environmental responsibility, envisioning a future where collaboration, innovation, and ongoing research propel us toward a sustainable and equitable digital era. VAST Data remains steadfast in the belief that collective action is pivotal in shaping a brighter, greener future for all.

How are you aligning your sustainability initiatives in line with the themes of COP28?
This year, COP28 has a strong, future-centric focus, on innovative solutions including artificial intelligence, and big data. VAST Data is continuously striving to raise the bar for secure, sustainable hyper-scale data infrastructure, with the first new scale-out architecture that has been designed for 20 years of AI and big data computing, with minimised E-Waste, Industry-Best Power Consumption, and up to 90% energy cost savings. VAST Data strives to enable enterprises to save energy, in combination with efficient optimal performance, and compelling economics, driving meaningful and compounding environmental benefits into the data centre.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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