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Sustainability in Software Engineering - How to make a difference

Sustainability in Software Engineering - How to make a difference

Martin Lippert

April 22, 2021
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  1. ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Sustainability in
    Software Engineering
    How to make a difference
    Martin Lippert
    Spring Tools Lead, VMware
    April 2021

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  2. 2
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Climate change is real.
    There is no need to argue about whether
    climate change exists, is human made, or
    life-threatening – all this is real and urgent.
    We need to stop climate change, not
    discuss whether it is real or not.

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  3. 3
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    This is a huge challenge, and
    we can make a huge
    difference.
    Software is eating the world and can have a
    huge impact. Let’s not wait for others to
    solve the problem. Everybody is involved –
    we all share the same responsibility.

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  4. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 4
    Contributions to
    climate change
    Greenhouse gases:
    • CO2: 74.36% (carbon)
    • CH4: 17.32%
    • N20: 6.19%
    • F-Gas: 2.13%

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  5. We need to
    decarbonize the entire
    world of software
    engineering.

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  6. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 6
    Employee
    Commute
    Energy
    Production
    Business
    Travel
    Food in the
    office
    Hardware
    Hardware
    Production
    Heating /
    Cooling
    Data Center
    Operation
    Network Traffic
    CPU Cycles
    Memory
    Consumption SWAG
    production
    Shipping /
    Transport
    Energy
    consumption
    There is a wide range of topics

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  7. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 7
    89%
    7%
    4%
    Energy - 89%
    Land-use - 7%
    Industrial
    processes - 4%
    What causes carbon emissions?

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  8. 8
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Energy Production

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  9. The energy question.
    We need 100% renewable energy.
    This will take a very long time.
    And we don‘t have a very long
    time.

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  10. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 10
    Increase renewable energy
    production
    Decrease energy consumption
    We need to tackle this from both sides

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  11. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 11
    Electricity
    Generation
    Losses: 60%
    40 Watts
    Data Center
    Losses: 30%
    Server Losses: 80%
    28 Watts
    100 Watts
    <5 Watts
    Useful
    Computing
    Source: Rocky Mountain Institute
    Impact of saving energy

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  12. 12
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Energy Consumption

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  13. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 13
    Employee
    Commute
    Energy
    Production
    Business
    Travel
    Food in the
    office
    Hardware
    Hardware
    Production
    Heating /
    Cooling
    Data Center
    Operation
    Network Traffic
    CPU Cycles
    Memory
    Consumption SWAG
    production
    Shipping /
    Transport
    Energy
    consumption
    Energy consumption

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  14. 14
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Rule of thumb:
    Try to run your software with less hardware.

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  15. 15
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Step 0: Virtualize to use less hardware.

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  16. • Hardware production consumes
    lots of energy and resources.
    • Buying less hardware is
    cheaper and better for the
    environment.

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  17. 17
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Step 1: Do not run your software.

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  18. • Only run software when
    necessary (scale to zero).
    • Eliminate “zombies”. They
    consume energy, space, and
    hardware.

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  19. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 19
    1. In 2019, VMware consolidated a datacenter in
    Singapore. 66% of the host machines were
    “zombies“. They were decomissioned.
    2. In a 2017 study, Jon Kooney surveyed 16,000 non-
    virtualized and virtualized physical servers, across 10
    datacenters. He concluded that 25% of the physical
    servers were “zombies“ and 30% of the virtual
    machines were “zombies“.
    Two pieces of evidence

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  20. 20
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Step 2: Run your software using
    less energy.

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  21. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 21
    Memory constantly consumes energy
    • 1GB RAM consumes about 2W (varying)*
    CPUs consume a lot of energy
    • Lets assume an average of 50W*
    Rule of thumb
    • Reserve less memory
    • Reserve less vCPUs
    (* average rough number, varies depending on type of RAM,
    power vs. idle mode, and other factors)

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  22. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 22
    A real win-win situation
    Fight climate change AND
    reduce cost of operation

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  23. To put that into perspective
    One flight from FRA -> SFO,
    Economy, 747-8
    ~640 kgCO2
    Dell PowerEdge R560, 32GB,
    2 CPUs, x4 300 GB HDD
    ~1930 kgCO2 / year

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  24. 29
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Where to run the software?

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  25. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 32
    Choose data center in cold regions (less cooling needed)
    Choose data center where the energy mix is best (depending on solar/wind conditions)
    Dynamically reschedule when conditions change

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  26. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 33
    Small scale: Kubernetes

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  27. 41
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Last Resort
    Offsetting emissions
    A topic of its own

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  28. ©2021 VMware, Inc. 42
    Offsetting is generally a good idea
    • Offsetting projects generally do good things
    • Choose the project wisely, not every offsetting project really pays off
    The important difference is:
    • Avoid emissions in the future (many offsetting projects are in this category)
    • Vs. Actively removing the same amount of CO2 from the atmosphere

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  29. 48
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    “Sustainability is the next
    frontier in innovation”
    Nicola Acutt, VMware Sustainability Lead

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  30. 49
    ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Learn more:
    Course by Microsoft:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/modules/sustainable-
    software-engineering-overview/
    Principles for sustainable software engineering
    https://principles.green

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  31. ©2021 VMware, Inc.
    Thank You
    Martin Lippert
    @martinlippert
    [email protected]

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