Circular IT is built on a culture of sustainability and developing a sustainable business model, eliminating waste within business processes and resource usage within the wider context of climate change, zero carbon strategies, and pollution concerns.
Many IT companies have adopted strategies and an ethos that favor sustainable practices not only because it is usually the right thing and resonates with customers’ values, but also because of the hard practical financial benefits. Eliminating waste has always been at the heart of agile and lean business processes and reducing physical waste is no longer optional within many of the regulatory frameworks that organizations operate within.
Conceptually it is a model easily explained by implementations, such as the recycling and repurposing of hardware such as end-user laptops. Most businesses are enthusiastic about doing the right thing and adopting sustainable practices that make a lot of common sense. However, poor ISV (Independent Software Vendors) licensing options are often a blocker to adopting circularity.
If adopting sustainable practices incurs large additional software costs projects can stall. Mostly, this happens when software licensing is inflexible, and organizations are faced with excessive costs if they adopt new hardware practices such as repurposing old hardware or moving services to a low or zero-carbon cloud.
Within eG Innovations, we are very conscious of our customers’ desire to eliminate waste and adopt sustainable processes. These are values and goals that we share. In order to meet that goal, we have adapted and tuned our licensing models to be compatible with and encourage the type of change and migration associated with circular IT practices. Agnostic cross-vendor agnostic products such as eG Enterprise have a significant role in enabling key processes (see Figure:1) in a circular economy particularly maintenance, adoption of product-as-a-service, and refurbishment/repurposing.
eG Innovations licenses a single monitoring solution and platform providing monitoring, root-cause problem diagnosis, alerting, and remediation of the entire IT landscape including both applications and IT hardware. As such our licensing is technology and vendor agnostic – we sell licenses that can be applied to monitor “things”, whatever our customers are using. If a customer is using eG Enterprise to monitor on-premises Oracle Databases, they are free to transfer those licenses as and when they choose to monitor an Amazon RDS (Relational Database Services) service database instead. There is no investment needed to train staff up on a different monitoring product and the impact of change can be assessed within the existing product to verify that the new choice of database technology is as effective as the old model.
More than 200+ different technologies are supported by eG Enterprise (see: IT Monitoring Technologies & Supported Platforms | eG Innovations); licenses can be repurposed and transferred between technologies to allow you to monitor anything – cloud, network, systems, applications, virtualization, storage, etc. With integrations into dozens of third-party applications. Licenses required for APM, unified monitoring, or enterprise application monitoring are based on the number of operating systems, storage devices and hypervisors you need to monitor. What you monitor and how you repurpose your licenses to fit with your circular-IT goals is entirely up to you.
It sounds an amazingly simple concept, and you would assume flexible license transfers would be ubiquitous, but it is incredibly common for software vendors providing functionality such as monitoring, image management and storage to lock vendors to particular hardware models and software stacks.
Common scenarios where eG Enterprise enables customers with its circular-IT friendly approach include:
A key principle of the circular economy is to reduce waste by maximizing the life of resources and maintaining them in working order to avoid unnecessary upgrades or replacement. Often the cost of diagnosing (or misdiagnosing) an issue means it is more cost efficient to rip-and-replace hardware and systems that are suspected of being faulty. Deficient performance of hardware such as servers can often be simply resolved if a resource bottle neck such as RAM, CPU or bandwidth limitation is identified resulting in a component upgrade rather than purchasing a larger server. In many organizations existing under-used systems exist that can alleviate bottlenecks by routine configuration maintenance to optimize resource usage.
eG Enterprise leverages machine learning technologies via an AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for Operations) Engine that performs automated root-cause diagnosis of resource and other issues, ensuring faulty components are pinpointed and isolated so only truly faulty components need replacing. Live and historical data capture are included in the core product alongside built-in out-of-the-box reports that enable resource consumption analysis and continual capacity planning and optimization.
eG Enterprise can identify unused resources such as servers without users and automated actions and scripting can be leveraged to control resources and power off data center hardware to reduce costs and carbon footprints.
Product as a Service
Most organizations are moving applications and workloads to the cloud. Our recent APM (Application Performance Monitoring) survey found that 88% of organizations had some form of cloud technology deployed already. Rather than investing in on-premises hardware and infrastructure organizations are adopting more flexible pay as you go and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) models often leveraging SaaS (Software as a Service) or public Cloud. As organizations migrate to Cloud or gradually replace on-premises with cloud, they naturally also refresh their software stack. Our fully transferable agnostic licensing avoids additional costs and shelf ware being a barrier to change by allow customer to transfer their monitoring from an on-premises Citrix or VDI stack to other comparable services on cloud such as Microsoft AVD (Azure Virtual Desktop) or Amazon WorkSpaces. For example, traditional Citrix or VDI only monitoring and management solutions, often do not support the full Azure stack and licensing is often tied to specific nuances of that stack such as number of Citrix sessions used (see: Top 10 Requirements of Cloud Monitoring Tools (eginnovations.com)).
Refurbishment and Repurposing
Enterprise customers often repurpose old workstations and laptops as locked-down thin clients for DaaS (Desktop as a Service) and VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)
When customers move away from physical PCs and desktops, it frequently makes sense to extend the life of existing laptops and workstations by installing a lighter weight Linux or Chrome based OS. Specialists such as IGEL offer software and OSs to repurpose these end points into effective low-power thin clients offering enterprise grade secure remote access. Most major monitoring vendors now support monitoring IGEL endpoints and for eG Innovations it is just another “thing” license to adopt the technology.
Read more about how vendors such as IGEL enable the reuse of obsolete endpoints: Go Green with IGEL | IGEL.
eG Enterprise auto-discovers IT infrastructure and records configurations both physical and ephemeral service consumption arising from auto-scale workflows. Having up to date audit information on datacenter hardware and endpoints allows businesses to plan for the end-of-life and recycling plans, whilst ensuring new acquisitions are compatible with lifecycle plans. Features such as the Inventory View, allow systems that will become obsolete to be identified, rationalized and consolidated. Reducing the SKUs present is often a key tenet of a cost-effective recycling strategy.
Learn More about Circular IT and The Sustainable Datacenter
- If you are looking to adopt or increase your use of cloud and cloud services – some guidance on feature evaluation for your needs is available in Top 10 Requirements of Cloud Monitoring Tools; key considerations such as cloud service coverage, licensing and hybrid and multi-cloud requirements are covered.
- Read about Microsoft’s approach to Zero Carbon and Azure Sustainability: Azure sustainability –Sustainable technologies | Microsoft Azure
- Read how EUC integrators are growing their businesses in partnership with government initiatives on sustainability: for example HTG in the UK – HTG – Green IT and Sustainability – Digital Marketplace a well-known thought leadership team involved in Green IT for AVD and Citrix deployments (See HTG | Meet sustainability goals).
- If you are interested in Circular IT for the SMB (Small and Medium Business) including laptop lifecycle and refurbishment – Computer Weekly’s recent series of articles may be of interest. See: Circular IT series: ILM Highland laptop refurbishment and Circular Computing remanufactured laptops offer zero-carbon computing