Exploring Cloud Sustainability and Digital Pollution with Mark Butcher

Click to Listen on Google Podcasts
Click to Listen on Spotify
Click to Listen on Apple Podcasts

About the Guest

Headshot of Mark Butcher
Mark is a data centre and cloud specialist who focuses on improving sustainability for enterprise IT businesses whether that’s on premises or in the cloud.

Episode Summary

This week Aaron is joined by Mark Butcher, Director of Posetiv Cloud Ltd and organiser of the UK FinOps community.

In this episode we cover loads of tips and tricks on how you can optimise cloud services. What we would like to see on our AWS Wishlists. The emergence of GreenOps and more!

For more information on the FinOps Community: What is FinOps? - FinOps Foundation

Mark’s chosen charity for our £500 donation is The Wildlife Trust. For more information and to donate you can visit their website: The Wildlife Trusts | The Wildlife Trusts

The business who we have chosen to shine a light on for this episode is Rumble. Gyms in London & Paris who give back to the world one workout at a time. They are committed to plant 1 tree every time you visit: About | Rumble (rumble-gym.com)

Episode Transcript

00:00:00 [AB]

Welcome to Public Cloud for Public Good,

a podcast talking about

Cloud Sustainability and how we can use public cloud services

to make the world a better place.

Today I am speaking to Mark Butcher who is the director of Posetiv Cloud

and the organiser of the UK FinOps COmmunity. He is a data centre and cloud specialist

and he focuses on improving sustainability for

enterprise IT businesses whether thats on premise or in the cloud

00:00:36 [AB]

Okay. Well, thanks for joining me today, Mark.

You have been really keen to catch up with you an interview for this podcast.

Especially since I've been following some of your posts on LinkedIn.

The one that really resonated with me was when

you were talking about scope 12 and three.

When it comes to carbon emissions, you want to touch on that a little bit?

00:00:49 [MB]

yet no problem at all. So firstly, thanks for having me. It's nice to be on here.


so sustainability and digital pollution.

It's a bit of a strange one because

everyone thinks they know about it.

But no one's really actually aware of the impact

that digital services are having on the environment,

or even how to kind of measure it or where to start measuring it.

And the whole scope 1 2 and three bit

is rapidly becoming a problem because

Scope one and two has always been something that companies

cared about because they were kind of measured on it

and scope three.

They didn't really care about because it was someone else's problem


into that bucket was falling.

Lots of horrendous stuff, like all the outsourcing that gets done,

even things like public cloud provision and consumption.

Anything that's delivered as a service,

men that customers as far as customers were concerned,

it wasn't their problem anymore.


they were given the problems someone else.

So they weren't really measuring the impact. And there was no real focus on

efficiencies our awareness of how good, bad or ugly those kind of services were.

And that kind of applies to anything they were using even their entire supply chain.

So the manufacturing of a server or Iraq or a data centre

or anything like that all falls into the scope three bucket,

including the impact on the environment of

the actual construction and the raw materials,

and the following the entire supply chain all the way down to not just

the bit, that you can see.

00:02:06 [AB]

And I think it's definitely these are the sorts of

things that are really difficult when it comes to sustainability,

not just in cloud computing, but you think about electric cars.

So you know the idea that an electric car is going to be better for the environment,

but you dig a little bit deeper,

Look at the supply chain of the batteries or think you actually,

is this the best decision rather than just not driving at all?

And I guess you can kind of see that when

it comes to businesses and how they make decisions.

So, you know,

we decided to use the public clouds because we can throw

all those responsibilities over the fence rather than worrying about ourselves.

00:02:36 [MB]

yeah, absolutely. And so don't get me wrong.

And what I'm not saying is the public cloud is bad because actually,

the average kind of public cloud data centre

is in general,

operated massively more efficient than the bulk of the

data centres that you'll see in the market.

And, yes, there are many out there which are every bit as efficient.

Some fantastic new builds going on,

with data centre providers building at co

location facilities that are beyond efficient,

everyone trying to get down to the 100% efficient type type service.

The reason.

The public cloud providers have typically been ahead

of the curve because A they've had the investment

and be it delivers some commercial advantage.

So they make more money if they're more efficient so that for that reason

they use

the most lean infrastructure they can.

They use the least power they possibly can, and they measure

everything they possibly can to be as efficient as

they can because it impacts their bottom line.

00:03:24 [AB]

And it is definitely one of those things where hyper scale is,

especially Amazon New York,

and just do things at a different scale that we can't even think about.

You know,

there's gonna be a world of difference between from a PC down the back of the

cupboard in your office versus building a £7.5

billion data centre off the coast of New Zealand

when you can use sea water or innovative techniques to cool the data

centre without relying on powered pumped water or whatever else it might be.

one of the really interesting things I came across when I was speaking to Microsoft,

they did a really interesting virtual data centre at all was, you know,

even the choice of location of a data centre in the U.K.

A lot of our data centres are clustered around the north or in Ireland

because that band of the world has

got less temperature variation than over locations.

And that just means you don't have to cool it as

much as you don't have to heat it as much.

And, you know,

not all of us can make sort of decisions like that about how we're gonna replacing.

00:04:13 [MB]

yeah, And there's also impacts on not just not just where you place the data centre,

but also the time of day in which you're using the services so you get

the carbon intensity of the actual electricity

consumption in its own right as well.

But that

the bit that gets forgotten, though,

is when you get back to this whole scope 12 and three.

If you think if you thought of all the all your emissions as being a point of Guinness

or or a lot of cooking or an espresso, or that coming,

the froth at the top is the scope one and two.


typically Scope one and two emissions are only

about 10 to 15% of your total emissions.

Your scope three emissions are the 85 to 90%.

So by ignoring the kind of the scope three bit,

you're missing out on vast amounts of digital pollution and problems.

You're causing the environment.

And that's where that's where a lot of people now need to be focusing because

suddenly, companies are increasingly actually becoming accountable for that.

It's now actually being demanded by their shareholders by their investors by

their customers. So

people are actually making procurement and

purchasing decisions as consumers and as investors

based upon. Actually, how sustainable is that organisation?

Can they actually tell me what the footprint is?

00:05:15 [AB]

And you are right. Definitely.

When it comes to sort of making decisions, you know,

you see ethics when it comes to stuff like the use of social media,

I think you know something like Facebook have definitely gone down a path now,

where we all just look at and go.

Is this good for the world?

And it gives us this bad feeling and we don't want to work there.

We don't want to use it.

You know, we start seeing that in the rest of our technology,

whether it's the website and how they hosted or clearly, you know,

um I'm not saying data centres of power building and militias, but, you know,

it is something that you can you can see when consumers are making the decisions.

You know,

it was I almost think that sustainable tech is almost

like the new vegan in some ways is like,

OK, we've challenged the food industry, and we're seeing a big difference.


people say that individuals can make a difference when it comes to certain things.

And I personally have a bit of a finger of personal responsibility myself.

But, you know,

you do look at stuff like KFC or fast

food chains where they now are given more options.

It be great if hyper scale as could give us more green options.

This is the Green Data Centre,

or this is the service that is more efficient than others.

And that information is sometimes lacking, I think.

00:06:14 [MB]

Yeah, so I kind of like to throw something back at you there as well, because whilst

if you break it into the sustainability

of the cloud and the sustainability in the cloud.

So the of the cloud bit absolutely the kind of the

hyper scale is need to be operating the most efficient data

as they possibly can. They need to be reinvesting the absolutely

mind boggling profits they're making

into making those services as efficient as they can be.

And they need to be sharing the metrics openly and transparently.

And that is a big problem today is

that they're not actually sharing it transparently.

No one's using a consistent calculation model,

so there isn't really no real support for a single metric that you can use.

And from an outside perspective,

it's actually impossible to gain access to the accurate

information from all of them and aggregated together,

which represents a real opportunity in the market clearly.

But it's creating a pain for any.

Any big organisation is now trying to do the environmental,

social and governance type and reporting.

So the reporting,

it's really hard if you can't actually get

accurate calculations and you have to make estimates.

But that's the that's the sustainability

of the cloud. So yeah, it's in their interest or project efficiently.

But think about the sustainability in the cloud

and that's where the personal responsibility comes in.

So if you're thinking about organisations and developers and operational teams,

the problem is in it.

We always start trying to solve the problem from the wrong end.

So we're starting at. The problem. Is that

is it looking at optimising services? So looking at waste inside a cloud service

the bit that comes out in the world of finance, which I worked heavily in?

The financial cloud management

is that on average, 45% of cloud spend is wasted,

and what that means I wasted is

over provision. Service over design services services aren't switched.

Also, development environments that run overnight and never terminated

storage volumes, which had attached and never used again.

Copies of data which are left duplicating out there forever.

More redundant environments running, which don't need to be there,

and or environments running on old platforms that could have been

moved to a new modern processing type or instance type.

00:08:10 [AB]

Yeah. And you've definitely touched on a few points there.

You know, it's not just about how we can make what we're doing right now,

more efficient.

It's also making decisions about Can we actually

stop some of the things that we're doing?

So you know,

whether it's because we're keeping all this data for regulatory reasons

or just paranoid someone's going to check up on us.

It's, you know, just get rid of that data after X amount of years if you're able to,

because you have already going to look at again,

reminds me of people who go to sort of concert and take a video of the phone.

And then it's like you have a really gonna look at that again. Um, it

businesses could be doing a lot more to just say, Okay,

this is something that we should or shouldn't be doing,

And that touches a little bit on, sort of, you know,

sustainability is a non functional requirements.

So not only do we look at it from okay,

let's just be the most efficient When we're doing technology,

we're making technology just choices, but, you know,

how can we think about whether we should be doing this at all

when it comes to over context and the business decision that we're making here.

00:09:00 [MB]

yeah, and that's a big point, which is your customer journey.

As in your company's customers,

how are they going to consume the services and platforms that you're building?

And how are you going to make conscious decisions,

and that's making making sustainability and embedded design,

practise and functional requirements.

So if you go back to 15 20 years and said he had said someone,

you need to design this for accessibility,

they would have looked at you with cold, dead eyes. And

what on earth are you talking about?

But now every application service has to be designed legally for accessibility,

and what we need is to make sustainability

as embedded a practise as performance security accessibility.

Get on that list so that when you're

making a decision point for designing an application

or even writing your non functional requirements before you can get

to that stage or even defining the business requirements for an application

actually writing. So actually we're going to make a conscious decision,

which is

we're going to put the priority of

sustainability over performance or sustainability over accessible

or or conversely, actually making that reverse conscious thing.

But knowing that you've made it so

actually making that decision yourself to say we're

going to make this application less sustainable than

it could be and documenting that decision.

So your crystal clear why you made that point.

00:10:09 [AB]

I mean, you know, we all Sometimes we don't really realise it, But, you know,

we sometimes have to make decisions that are less sustainable than others.

For example, the easiest one to talk around this back up.

You know, if you're going to have an active,

active backup that is less sustainable than having a cold start recovery because

you need to provide that up time or that service to your customers.


if maybe you've got a hobby website or you're doing something

yourself and you don't need near millisecond response times or backups,


you can obviously make a decision that is more focused on sustainability.

00:10:37 [MB]

Being a sad guy that I am.

So I come from the world of storage, backup and disaster recovery.

And I could bore you all day about the inadequacies

around back up policies and procedures because the average big enterprise

through it, either it either lethargy,

lack of time or lack of desire to even look into this.


they nearly always treat all the data the same way,

regardless of kind of the

quality of it, the type of it, the importance of it.

And so they end up keeping copies of everything forever just because

they're too scared to go back to the business and challenge them.

And that's kind of the issue. Is that on that kind of thing you're keeping

in most couple of

big companies.

It's hundreds of petabytes of data,

and that is a huge amount of information on spinning tin.

And that's kept in

3 4 or five different locations.

00:11:19 [AB]

yeah, and it is true.

And I think, you know,

it's almost similar to sort of us as individuals when we have

our email inboxes hosted by Gmail or outlook or whatever else.

And, you know,

I've got years and years and years of emails that

I've just kept because I might need that one day,

or even if it's spam, even its whatever else I probably never sat down to think.

Should I get rid of this?

You know when it comes to sort of back up policies and retention as well.

In business is, I feel like

these are the things that we sometimes think is somebody else's problem.

So we'll go.

OK, well, that's the, you know,

the operations team or the strategy team with this policy

for you know how it works in our business.

But we don't really get those decisions or those kind of considerations down,

maybe even to like the acceptance criteria

when you're building applications and services,

you know, should this day to be stalled for a certain amount of time or

00:12:06 [MB]

you know, and I can get kind of

the train of thought process that typically happens is so

as a provider,

you go in and use it and you try and sell them your

backup solution platform and they tell you it needs to be size.

But this retention level for these types of data for this long

and you start asking questions and they say Well,

that's because that's what legal have said Governance team has said.

You talk to legal and governance and they say, Oh yeah,

that's because that's all the businesses demanded.

You talk to the business and they go,

I don't know, talk to the auditors

and then you get back to the auditors and they've just

used a generic template recommendation from

some other environment somewhere else.

And there is Actually

there's no actual legal reason in many cases why they're keeping it.


luckily I am starting to see on a positive

note I'm starting to see some organisations saying,

actually, we're hitting us hard. We're now taking the ethos of

we're keeping nothing.

More than six months apart from the following

data sets and types which were automatically classifying

everything else will be deleted.

It will go

unless you have a compelling business justification that you have to make

because of the impact on the environment.

00:13:03 [AB]

Well, I feel like we're probably dove quite deep into some very technical topics.

Let's pull back a little bit and maybe just took on a couple of things.

So, looking through your work history,

you're currently the director of Positive Cloud.

A little bit jealous because it's probably a better name

for the podcast like this than what I've chosen.

But also you worked at a company called Data Vita, which you said was the

most sustainable and best data centre in Scotland.

As we touch on some of those points.

00:13:29 [MB]

Yeah, so datafeatures facility.

It's a purpose built data centre which was built with sustainability in mind,

so it uses every bit of possible cutting edge technology at the time.

This is only going back to 2016

when the facility was built,

and it operates with the design P u E,

which is a terrible term that any day centre provides will be

screaming at the screen now telling me I'm stupid for saying it.

But it's a metric that everyone uses to measure efficiency of data

Centres operates with a design PUC of around 1.161 point 17,

which is pretty efficient compared to most co location facilities.

Facilities like a lot of Google's operate with as low as about 1.8.

But to be at 1.16 to 1.18 is pretty efficient,

and the key point there is that anyone moving into

that facility we'll see a massive reduction in their power requirements

and their power charges and the associated carbon emissions.

And the company also is actually the process of building out a fully

sustainable and renewable power generation specifically for

the facility that they're building themselves.

00:14:28 [AB]

Yeah, that's really interesting. So looking at that measurement, the P u e.

If we were to look at, you know what would

on premise data centre that we've run ourselves or what would be the sort of you know,

the cupboard full of all of our servers racks.

What would you sort of say is an estimate of the

number that you'd be looking at for something like that?

00:14:44 [MB]

Oh, if you so if you go down the metric of the real nasty one,

which is the cupboard full of racks with,

with a few fans calling it boiling the oceans that can be as high as a peewee of three

easily, easily and comfortably.

Luckily, there aren't so many of those around now,

but the average

Mid Enterprise Data Centre, which is sitting there running with a bunch of racks,

is at least around 2 to 2.5.

But that's only one fractional part of the story.

It's actually it's the how you built that facility.

It's the materials are being used to build it.

It's it's all the service that you're running within it.

It's just part of the overall story.

That's what again people are now starting to realise is

measuring just the power consumption and the scope one and two

is only one part of the problem they're trying to solve.

00:15:27 [AB]

It is really interesting because, you know,

you mentioned before as you get to see a

lot of businesses who are being pressured by shareholders,

you know, to look and be more sustainable not just look, but, you know,

actually do more things.


and it's definitely, you know,

a similar sort of aided is my background in the public sector.

Before I was sort of left last year, a lot more department,

a lot more government agencies in the U.

K were focused on. Okay, what is our sustainability strategy for I t.

And actually, what can we do?

Do you think that, like, you know,

making business decisions like to build a data centre with aiming for

as most efficient as possible? Be most sustainable.

Is going to be a USP or benefit in the long run

when people start making decisions in this way more in the future.

00:16:05 [MB]

I'm not convinced in the wisdom of

any organisation,

unless there are of a specific size building their own data centre facility.

Now when there are so many really really good co location facilities

and cloud providers which are always going to be more

efficient and more invested in because The problem is,

if you build your own,

that's just an exercise in throwing money away for year after year after year,

as you're constantly fighting to make it as efficient as it can be

and you're never going to be able to keep up with the curve.

It's almost a one time thing and then 10,

15 years later you're back at the same problem.


but equally I don't think everyone needs to go to the

cloud because that isn't the answer for every service at all.

The truth for most organisations is a hybrid world,

but the key point they need to get to is being able to measure the

impact regardless of where the workload is so

they can make conscious decisions on placing workloads

based upon sustainability. Being one of those metrics

00:16:54 [AB]

Yeah, it's really important to have those measurements isn't.

And I think that's where we're starting to see, like you mentioned earlier.

Google being a bit ahead of the curve. Where says Amazon Dragon behind a bit.

You know,

you've mentioned about this idea of responsibility of and in the

cloud that comes from Amazon just released the new address,

sustain it

sustainability, pillar and their shared responsibility model.

But, you know,

one of the things I'm kind of find frustrating in

that whole model is this idea of proxy metrics.

You know, the idea that we need to look at? Okay, what is our storage capacity?

What is our network and usage and our compute usage,

rather than here's some hard and fast figures to help you make decisions.

do you think that's an issue in the industry right now? And will we see a change there?

00:17:33 [MB]

yeah, I think the


Yeah, so

in many ways,

I don't want to say it angers me, but it does kind of because


the cloud providers like that, some money to be made,

they would focus all their attention.

It would happen in days.

But because this isn't seen as something which

is going to generate huge return Or conversely,

some might argue.

Is there something they don't want to be? Showing is an argument I've heard come out,

which is the

sustainability figures need to be as available as custom usage metrics.

They need to be standardised dashboards,

alerts and reports that you can get for not approach enough.

But actually an individual service line and individual application line.

Whatever metric you're looking at, you should be to visualise

a rolled up things for saying actually, on a per unit basis,

what is this application costing in terms of emissions for all scopes 1 2 and three

and recommendations for optimising it off the back of that

and make it so you can make conscious decisions.

00:18:23 [AB]

Yeah, I definitely agree with You know,

it's sort of the thing where I find frustrating when you know,

you look at Amazon and I don't know all of this detail,

but there's definitely experts out there closer to some of this.

But when you think about every single Amazon service that's released,

not only do you see the front end and the A p I is that control it,

but every single one of them is a very detailed feed on

what feeds the Cost Explorer system and feeds the billing system.

And that is a massive part of the requirements.

And every single one is held to account to

make sure that they provide the correct information.

I mean, as much as you do get billing problems on AWS,

they're not usually down to the unit costs.

It's probably some aggregations where they do this really well,

because it's designed.

It's the way they bring in income. They could do exactly the same

if it was sustainability. It's just they've chosen not to. And

I mean, that's the other fingers, you know,

if I was to add something onto the AWS wishlist is, you know,

where's my sustainability explorer?

Not just my cost explorer.

00:19:10 [MB]

Well, the key thing I would like to see is

very simply accurate metadata appended to the cost

and usage reports specifically related to sustainability,

giving scope 1 2, and three

and also then optimisation tooling because there's so many.

If you throw a rock at the window, you probably gonna hit a final

Tallinn vendor these days

and they need to be taking it seriously, actually,

building a metrics themselves for reporting

and alerting and offering remediation because

in the world optimisation,

even if you strip out sustainability as being a consideration,

all we're talking about is optimising services to

make them as efficient as they can be.

But just viewing it through a different lens.

So rather than saying

the Triple XL is better than the XL size variant, we actually look at it and say,


the most efficient new process of running is actually the

A and e powered instances which have just been released,

and they're not available in the region that you're in.

But you need to move your service from there to from Dublin to Frankfurt,

for example,

and giving people the conscious decision and the alerts to say, Actually,

at this time of day,

because there are lots of transactional workloads which could be

delivered anywhere at any point which aren't latency dependent,

which are held back by being migrate,

you can see actually you need to run the following services at three in the

morning in Frankfurt because that's when actually

the climate intensity is at its lowest.

That's where the power mix is the best.

That's where the most the most easy access to

the lowest powered services are at that time.

00:20:30 [AB]

Yeah, I definitely agree with that.

You know,

some of the other tips have come across as even just about how you use the spot market.

You know, instead of scheduling all your jobs on the hour,

choose a minute in between the hour because everyone else

is going to be scheduling at the default figure,

which is either one o'clock two o'clock.

Put yours at 2 45 and you'll have a sort of better

market to be using there and and you'll be more efficient.

00:20:49 [MB]


And also automate the hell out of everything

because that's where so many delays happen in this kind of thing.

But when we're talking sustainability in

the cloud because humans don't make decisions

at the rate at which you can get them made if you're automating things

and that just requires you to think about how you're building your services.

So I think with automation and sustainability is one of your core design metrics.

And think about every step in this

our development process. How do we automate the pipeline?

How do we eliminate redundancy?

How do we look at the code that we're actually developing?

So, looking at the code, libraries were selecting?

00:21:18 [AB]

That's an interesting one in terms of, you know, actually, it comes down to,

you know, sustainability in the cloud.

Now we're talking about, you know,

the decisions and choices we make easy one to think about is okay,

Let's choose several technology verses.

Easy to, but you've mentioned the code and the code language,

I guess that we choose to use you know,

something I saw at last year's re invent with something like.

Rust is a lot more efficient than maybe some of the languages,

like C plus Plus or Java script,

you know, is that something you think developers could think about?

More as you know, What is the language using next?

And can I solve problems with more efficient languages.

00:21:50 [MB]

Yeah. And again,

going back to what you said right at the very beginning is

making sustainability and embedded practise across

every area of your operations.

So not just having it at the back end,

which is the wrong end to be focusing on it because,

you know that's that's not stopping the tide coming in

it just new.

New, badly designed requirements are being thrown at you all the time by people.

It's not that they're bad.

Generally, it's just that they're bad from a sustainability perspective.

Because the developers aren't being measured and tasked on

Is this the most sustainable code cannot be stripped down any further,

and also how are you going to measure that?

And I saw some great work, actually in central government by English DDS,

where they actually rating the development teams both outsourced and

insourced almost on the fridge rating of efficiency.

So they were getting efficiency based on cut,

and it was a lot of it was to do with spend optimisation.

But it's very easy.

00:22:37 [AB]

Yeah. That that fridge metric came from us at the home office.

Actually, uh, so we designed it for in terms of, like, our overall efficiency of,

like, kind of that cost optimisation level, and it was down to cost.

And I think you know,

as much as we can focus on cost as

a metric isn't always directly related to sustainability.

And and that's something that, you know, I almost need to catch myself sometimes.

Because, you know, I say I've saved a customer £100,000.

That doesn't always mean I've saved them anything to do with the carbon emissions,

because I could have just signed a reserved instance

or a savings plan or doing a commercial deal.

00:23:07 [MB]

And that's why you need to break it into what is a step,

what has that impact and what doesn't.

But in general,

if you come at it from a sustainability angle, almost every sustainability saving

tends to deliver

a cost saving.

There aren't many that don't

you always find something?

There aren't many that don't, but conversely,

there are loads of cost optimisation

which don't deliver a sustainability benefit,

like moving into a savings plan on moving to spot or moving to.

There's lots of things that don't,

but if you go back to the point about automating and optimising.

Then if you're automating everything at the same time,

you're making faster decisions, better on inconsistent quality.

So actually, we always really talking about is

making services run better and be more efficient,

and it just happens to have a really positive impact on the world. If we do that,

00:23:49 [AB]

Yeah. Save the world and save money at the same time.

It's like, you know, it really will, please, your shareholders,

if you actually start focusing on it.

00:23:56 [MB]

but coming back all the way from that,

then if you then go back from even from

the development teams into the line of business.

So we did. We did a project last year with quite a big online retailer,

and the fantastic thing was that one of the outcomes of

it was they never really looked at their customer journey.

So when they were throwing is to take a simplistic Web application.

And this was, you know, it's an e commerce site

stuffed full of images, videos.

Everything was everything was always pushed out in ultra HD type quality.

Everything had audio full encoded all

the time permanently because the marketing teams

decided that's how everyone everyone always streamed

all their videos and did everything.

Everyone watched everything.

The glorious music, tinkling music, all that kind of lovely stuff.

But when they actually looked at the analytics of it,

which they hadn't really done from the context of sustainability.

It was more than 85% of their content was viewed on mobile devices.

And those mobile devices

don't interpret the ultra HD images in the first place anyway.

00:24:48 [AB]

yeah. Yeah. No point having 10 80 p HD screens the size of ability. You know your hand.

00:24:51 [MB]


And the other key point was that more than 90% of the traffic had the audio disabled,

so they were streaming it.

It was being received, but it was never been played.

And so what they've done is they've taken the conscious decision,

so they're not going down the path, and they're in the path of doing it is to be

sustainable by design on their website and all their operations.

So they're enabling the consumer to make the conscious choice.

So they are saying that

by default you're going to get the sustainable version of our site,

and you have to you have to toggle the switch and select.

I want to burn the planet effectively,

so I want to be less sustainable. So

when you search in their philtres by default,

it's going to be by the most sustainable product downwards.

Unless you make a conscious decision.

00:25:33 [AB]

That's really interesting.


I find that really interesting when it comes to like another idea of, you know,

mentioned the marketing team this time.

So you have the marketing team with the flash is the coolest,

the best high quality videos.

You spent loads of time money, probably recording these things.

So you know, we want to get them out there to consumers.

And you kind of see a similar pattern when it comes to developers and tech leaders,

where it's like, you know,

I'm going to follow the shiniest new latest

technology or this blog post you read online

and and that may not actually be the best decision or or the most sustainable,

I guess.

And I think it's interesting that even if

you know,

you don't know exactly what you need to do

to make your company more sustainable just by adding

the sustainability as a conscious decision or non functional

requirement can help you stop and think about this.

And, yeah, that's the one thing I definitely,

you know concur as well as this idea of that.

We build things without thinking about the user needs.


our users are Mobil's, they're streaming low data.

They don't want to use all their data allowance, For example, on a mobile,

then we're not actually helping these people at all were making it worse for them.

You know, I think you know, for me,

if I've got a mobile and I've got low signal and it takes 10 seconds to load,

that's going to be a lot less customer experience.

I'm going to make me less likely to buy something than a really efficient load time

because they actually even just the data that's

being stored on your website as well.

You know, this is something I thought about for, You know,

the podcast website itself is like,

I kind of wanted to be as efficient as possible rather than just flash as possible,

because that is actually shown sustainability.

And we'll just help people have

better engagement with the site. So


00:27:04 [MB]

but if you think about all those things, it's then going down.

The metrics expands further and further the conversation.

You start saying Well, actually marketing

if we're going to then do everything in standard definition instead of

ultra high If if we're if we're not going to send a million

texts out to our customers if we're not going to send a million

spam emails out to our customers because actually have to start measuring,

what's the success of the things that we're doing?

And does it deliver value to the business?

And if something does deliver monumental value,

then you're making the conscious decision to carry on doing it.

But at least you know that you've made that decision.

And if you're auditors, come calling.

Your shareholders can call and say, What have you done about it? You can at least show

you've considered the impact of this in everything you do all the way through,

because when you start doing that and it flows from requirements

into development

into design into delivery operations, ongoing culture,

and then it becomes this iterative thing that you're always trying to fix

as embedded as accessibility, security and performance.

00:27:53 [AB]

Yeah, these things that we review our workloads on,

it's like that before it was like, You know,

if you have a default acceptance criteria for all

of your tax core epics that cover these considerations,

then at least you're thinking about it as you're building.

But yeah,

not just building and forgetting about it and and throw

it over the fence review and afterwards as well.

00:28:11 [AB]

We'll get back to our interview soon but I really want to highlight that it's not all doom and gloom in the world.

So now is the part of the show where we shine a spotlight on companies, charities and organisations that contributing to making the world a better place.

Supporting ethical business and charities that are doing good in the world is an easy way for all of us to also contribute when we're able to.

The business I want to highlight today is Rumble. A gym with locations in Paris and London that describes itself as a community that thrives on radical inclusion

sets goals and supports eachother to crush them

and it gives back to the world 1 workout at a time as they're committed to planting 1 tree everytime you go and work out.

They're making the world a better place one tree at a time.

00:28:56 [AB]

So one of the things I wanted to touch on is you're also

the organiser of pinups U K and the meet ups there.

What's that community like?

Is there a big budding community of people who care

about Finn ups and and green ops in the UK?

00:29:06 [MB]

So so GreenOps is obviously a new one that people are

only It's another new buzzword that everyone's going to hate,

which is great.

So the Phillips community, going back to the 34 years ago, was tiny.

And now, so Phillips dot org, which is the

foundation, which is part of the Linux Foundation,

has grown exponentially over the last couple of years.

It's thousands upon thousands of members across the world

and some some of the organisations who are members.

These are people are spending multiple billions

of dollars a year on cloud services.

So some of the very largest consumers you can possibly

get people like Apple sales force those kind of people.

So it's a massive community, and it goes from that end of it

all the way down to the people who are blinking into the light going.

I'm just shutting my data centre and I'm

scared what's gonna happen to my cloud bills.

So the global community is really big, and every country is growing New meetups.

00:29:53 [AB]

that's that's really interesting, you know, thinking about you're talking about.

There is people who are looking at you

know what they've always done in their careers,

or where their experiences and worried about the future,

that this is one area where I do speak to even my family members who were like, Oh,

don't want to do.

And I'm like,

Look at cloud because, you know, in some senses

it is a massive industry and it's always growing.

I think the growth of Amazon in particular over the

last few years have been kind of like just enormous,

and it doesn't seem like there's any sign of stopping, and you know,

if there's an industry around helping people save money from the cloud bills.

Basically, what we're doing here is taking money away from Amazon,

giving it back to those customers,

and you know having a cup of it as well in some senses.


you know, as long as Amazon grows and the cloud usage grows,

which inevitably it will with the trends that we see in

technology and the efficiencies that they can make as market leaders,

00:30:41 [MB]

One thing I have seen,

sorry to interrupt, was from all of the cloud providers like

that is that it doesn't matter whether it's Google,

Microsoft or Amazon.

They all kind of come into this optimisation world under the realisation that

the short term gain of having a customer

having really badly designed over provision services,


it's not good because in the long term that customers

going to go away if they carry on doing that.

So they actually encouraged the world of FinOps because they

want things to be run efficiently because then the customer stays

and they get more longer term revenues.

00:31:10 [AB]

And that's

That's definitely something that I'd agree with.

And you know, if anyone out there that's listening to disagree with this,

then please let me know because I'd be really interested in the story.

But when I worked really closely with my account teams at the cloud providers,

you know, they wear hand in hand,

helping us my great services to the latest version of technology moving to

serverless or even just getting these efficiencies

and these commercial deals in place,

you know, make sure you buy our eyes, make sure you put saving plans in place because,

yeah, they want that customer experience.

And, you know, there's a little bit worried there that it's a it's a long game,

you know?

Let's see what happens in 10 15 years' time to all of our services, not costs.

But yeah, For now, they are definitely encouraging people to to be more efficient.

And if you do not need any help,

definitely a place to start and ask them.

00:31:49 [MB]

yeah, and and and the things like that,

if you look at the pace of innovation with them as well,

so they're doing things faster and better than anyone would ever imagine.

And the lock in with the cloud provider is not at the kind of the instance level.

Yeah, if anyone says you can dynamically move between cloud providers,

I think they need to go take a long, hard look at themselves because unpick ng a

a service design.

When you're actually using all the platform services and all the other sister,

everything will

come with it.

It's a much harder than you would ever, ever, ever imagine. A

risky one.

00:32:15 [AB]

yeah. You either have to make decisions That means you don't use any native services on the cloud at all.

And you're always using stuff running your own VMS and and virtualizing it on top of

tin and basically get none of the benefits of the cloud or you're locked in,

like even if you talk about Kubernetes for example,

and you've got your own container, and you might even call move into ECS to GCP Then.

Okay, you can. But what happened to the front or the other?

Integration to the other tools and services that

sit outside the containers that you're integrating with.

That's going to be a lot of work to re architect and redo.

00:32:45 [MB]

And the nice thing there if you go back to the world of sustainability and digital pollution

is, it's a bit like the finance community

in that

it's a very friendly community of people who are like minded,

who are trying to do a good thing to help people.

And what we're finding is it's very much the open source community mindset.

So there's people across Europe and across the world.

We're all working together as part of one

kind of alliance to try and actually understand.

What can we all do to help people optimise,

deliver services better and design the better?

There isn't the sort of

the protectionist nature that you might expect in other areas of the market,

and it's a lot of us are working together

on projects you wouldn't expect us to as well.

00:33:20 [AB]

I mean, maybe maybe we didn't make a good point earlier on is like, you know,

the finance community is a little bit friendlier than maybe the

info set community and and a little bit less protective.

Maybe they just attract different people.

00:33:30 [MB]

and for anyone looking at cost optimisation

I would wholeheartedly recommend that they joined the finance

dot org because it is a completely open,

non commercial based organisation

and everyone helps everyone and you can just by joining the community,

get access to the slack channel and you will get so much.

I mean the questions that go in there that from

the very basic to the most arcane you'll ever see.

And you always get help from someone.

00:33:55 [AB]

That's one thing I found kind of over the last few years and in terms of my career

is actually just kind of stopping and stepping outside

of my organisation and joining these communities outside.

Whether it is, you know,

something associated with a company related to finops

or something associated with Amazon or meet up group.



when you are stuck and you can just throw a

question into the void and get a response back,

it is so useful.

It's a bit like a more friendly version of Stack overflow, I guess.

00:34:17 [MB]

And the nice thing is, if you get nothing else what, you actually get back?

Is everyone saying, Yeah, that's a real problem. We haven't fixed it either.

Let us know when you do. It gives you that feeling that you're not alone

and you get the most a hive mind effective people,

then trying to work together to go actually.

Well, this didn't work, But I tried this, You know, it might work for you.

You go and try it. Here's a copy of the script or the code or the

Yeah, the vendor I've used.

00:34:38 [AB]

Yeah, and you can all you know,

badge together and go and shout at your favourite cloud vendor together.

So we've been really great talking to you.

One of the things, obviously the podcast we want to touch on as well is you know,

it's not all doom and gloom.

Let's sort of focus on some of the better things in the world,

so as part of that will be making a donation to a charity of your choice.

So would you be able to talk about, you know, charity you've chosen and why?

00:34:58 [MB]

So the one that I've chosen is the wildlife trust


kind of It's one that I've supported for quite some time.

And one of the reasons behind that is being because

they do a lot of the outcome based work,

So it's actually they're actually

tangibly delivering improvements to the environment

to offset some of the damage that's being done elsewhere.

And they're doing more than just kind of a bit of tree planting here.

They're thinking about all areas of the habitat, every areas environment. So it's

there are great set of people to work with.

And, yeah, I wholeheartedly support what they do.

00:35:28 [AB]

That's really great

and then the other thing I sort of want to

finish up on before you go is if there is one tip or trick that you want to

give to developers senior leaders out there to be

more sustainable or make the world a better place.

What would that be?

00:35:40 [MB]

right to keep it really simple.

Just think about the implication of what you're doing.

Think about sustainability as a design criteria.

And even if you spin that back to being an end user,

just think about switching things off.

Think about that. That email you're sending do I need to send it.

Just question. Does it actually have to be sent?

Because every little action we have, it might seem tiny,

but you're part of the hundreds of millions or billions

of those actions are being taken globally every single day.

And you realise the impact of that, how it scales so fast and so quickly.

So my point would be every time the action has consequences and think about whether whether you actually need to do it

00:36:18 [AB]

Yeah, And like we said before, you know,

when we look at strings at higher scale or a micro scale

shareholders think about profits a lot of the time and businesses think,

Well, do you know what?

I don't really care that my IT crossed

is growing because my profits are growing alongside it.

So as long as it doesn't get too out of whack, I'm fine with this situation.

And that's where you know,

others individuals and developers and people working on these teams can go.

You know what? This isn't fine.

The fact that we storing that much data over there for no reason just isn't fine.

And we could probably just maybe even challenge. You know that a bit more.

00:36:46 [MB]

Oh, well, the one that one. That one definition for

folk out there is, even if they're not being pressured to look at this today,

it's coming, and they need to get hold of it because the reason I say that?

Is that the C suite?

So you're CEOs are increasingly being bonus to pawn them,

their organisations reaching net zero

and let me get this straight. If a CEO is bonus upon something, it tends to happen.

So it's coming towards you whether you like it or not,

00:37:08 [AB]

Yeah, that's true. Yeah, Net zero might seem like a very far away kind of goal.

You think about 2050 but you know, we'll be there sooner than we realise,

and we'll need the skills to get there as well, so?

Well, thanks so much for talking to me today. And yeah, hopefully we'll speak soon.

I'll see you at the next FinOps UK meet up.

00:37:26 [MB]

thank you very much for the time.

00:37:27 [AB]

Thanks so Much for listening

This podcast was brought to you by Embue, a Cloud Sustainability Consultancy.

There's one final thing from me, I would love it if you could do one

thing to make the world a better place.

And if you do want to share it with us then please get in touch on social

media or leave it alongside your review as a comment.