This episode of Over the Edge features an interview between Matt Trifiro and Ali Fenn, a data center infrastructure and sustainability leader. She is the former CEO of IT Renew, which was recently acquired by Iron Mountain. Ali is an expert in green computing, sustainability and is a dynamic and innovative executive with a track record of success in business development, sales and product management. She is currently a board member of Cato, and strategic advisor for Energy Internet Corporation as well as Pentatonic.
In this episode Ali Fenn breaks down the journey of technology from pre-use to post-use, and analyzes the amount of carbon emission produced throughout its lifecycle. She also talks about creating a circular IT infrastructure, demystifying hyperscale hardware, and causes of the ‘lion’s share’ of carbon emissions. She ends the episode talking about a need for the world’s collective effort in solving unsustainable IT infrastructure.
“They've [most companies] done a really good job at being efficient in the use phase, but supply chain is the next big place we all have to look at. It's the lion's share of carbon emissions. It's not just equipment, it's cement and construction and everything else that goes into the physical infrastructure.”
“I do believe that it's this topic of sustainability and in the context of IT infrastructure: It's our global collective imperative to solve it. And, at the same time, it's a huge opportunity, right? Data center infrastructure is going to fuel the transition economy. It's a trillion dollar opportunity. This is not just sustainability, it is not a tax. It's an opportunity if we do it right.”
“The idea here is to demystify hyperscale hardware and demystify open hardware. It doesn't have to be harder, but there is some work that goes into making it accessible to the broader markets. And that's the stuff that we do. We ultimately deliver it in a way that the enterprises can run super fast. And, that time-to-value is a big one, especially right now in the supply chain that we're in. You asked about the value proposition of this stuff, well, it's available. We're not manufacturing this stuff, right. So that's a huge advantage right now.”
(02:30) Early on in Ali’s career
(03:25) First Company Ali Joined
(04:00) Transfer to Infrastructure and Hardware
(05:50) What does ITrenew do?
(07:53) Data Center Sustainability and the ‘3 scope’ terminology associated with carbon emissions
(09:40) PUE - Power Usage Effectiveness
(11:42) Hardware Footprints - Sustainability and Circularity
(15:45) Hyperscale data centers
(20:30) ITrenew and recycling vs. refurbishing
(25:01) What is Sesame?
(25:40) Data Security
(29:38) Edge is Everywhere - computing impacting sustainability and equipment
(33:21) Ecosystem Wide Collaboration and Data Center Sustainability
(35:56) Supply chain data publication
(36:45) TCO Levels
(39:00) Rack Density
(40:00) Business Model Innovation and Circular IT Infrastructure
(42:30) Edge Computing Effects
(45:15) Solving IT infrastructure
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