We aren’t putting enough of a spotlight on the environmental impact of the cloud. Cloud usage and spend are skyrocketing as more companies invest in the critical infrastructure that drives digital transformation and supports integral parts of a business. 

But fighting climate change has never been more important than it is today, which is why we have a responsibility to address one of its biggest challenges and most overlooked contributors. 

In a relatively short period of time data centers became one of the largest contributing parties of carbon pollution per year, emitting nearly 100 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere (more than the entire airline industry). Roughly half of the cost of running a data center is power consumption, and data centers combined represent roughly 3% of the world’s total energy consumption.

In 2019, cloud waste resulted in business losses of over $14 billion. Just last year, companies wasted over $17 billion in cloud spend on idle resources. Many organizations are finding that as much as 40% of their cloud spend is wasted on over-provisioned and unused infrastructure, and 49% of companies are using less than 30% of their requested CPU and memory resources. These numbers are far too high. 

Fortunately, that carbon footprint can be significantly reduced by optimizing cloud utilization. 

There are numerous reasons behind the waste surge, many of which link back to operational inefficiencies with how cloud resources are used. But if you combine the waste and carbon footprint with Gartner’s prediction that spend on public cloud services is projected to grow over 18% this year and exceed $300 billion, it becomes pretty clear that if we aren’t using that spend as efficiently as possible, we face severe consequences on everything from the health of our planet to the health of our technology. 

The cloud isn’t going anywhere, so what do we do about this problem? It starts with acknowledging the elephant in the room and then not only making a firm commitment to change, but actually taking action on that commitment. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. 

With your help, StormForge pledges to reduce cloud waste by $100 million in 2021.

We’re challenging those who rely on the cloud to run their businesses to take a look under the hood and identify ways to reduce their waste and prioritize more effective cloud resource efficiency this year. 

To show you just how serious we are about doing whatever we can to cut back on cloud waste and reduce its impact on our environment, I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

If you’re currently using Kubernetes and would like to join us in this pledge to reduce waste, we guarantee that we can reduce your Kubernetes application cloud waste by 30% or more. If our savings do not match the promised 30%, I will personally pay the difference toward your cloud bill for 1 month (up to $50,000/customer) and donate the same amount to a green charity of your choice.

When I founded StormForge (some of you may remember our origins as Carbon Relay), it was always a priority to figure out how new technology can help reverse the very problem that this cloud dependency is fueling. Resource efficiency, optimization and waste reduction are core to our DNA here at StormForge. Our mission is to leverage groundbreaking technology to help organizations answer two critical questions: 

Is my application performing as optimally as possible?

Am I being as efficient as I can with my resources?

Too often we hear from companies that they’re releasing and managing cloud-native applications without keeping optimization and resource efficiency top-of-mind, and as a result face the constant risk of unnecessary application downtime, poor performance, and inflated cloud costs. And the more we forego performance efficiency, the more resources we waste.

We can do better, and it’s imperative that we stop overlooking cloud waste yesterday. It’s no longer a secret that an unfortunate byproduct of this waste is a rapidly growing carbon footprint from the providers and managers of cloud services. Business, both today and tomorrow, relies on the cloud, and the cloud relies on massive amounts of energy to keep it running. And while the world’s biggest providers are using and exploring clean energy avenues to power their data centers, that doesn’t mean we all can’t reflect on our own relationship with the future. 

It’s time to address this waste, build more efficient technology, and stop killing the planet.

To learn more about what you can do to reduce cloud waste and join us in the pledge, sign up here.