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InfoQ Homepage News Azure Adds Sustainability Guidance to Well-Architected Framework

Azure Adds Sustainability Guidance to Well-Architected Framework

During the recent Ignite conference, Microsoft announced new technical guidance within the Azure Well-Architected Framework (WAF) to help customers and partners achieve their sustainability goals.

Developed in partnership with the Green Software Foundation, the WAF sustainability guide is a set of recommendations for optimizing workloads and making them more sustainable on Azure. Tobias Zimmergren, architecture content lead at Microsoft, explains:

Increasingly, customers are asking questions related to sustainability and energy efficiency (...) By efficiency, the expectation might be energy efficiency, hardware efficiency, or efficient use of any other consumed resource. These questions highlight the growing importance of sustainability in cloud optimization, from reducing carbon emissions and energy utilization to refactoring for agility at a lower cost.

According to the cloud provider, making workloads more sustainable requires working on cost optimization, reducing carbon emissions, and optimizing energy consumption.


In an article about driving innovation for environmental, social, and governance assets, Shefy Manayil Kareem, general manager for Microsoft Cloud for sustainability, adds:

We’ve updated the Emissions Impact Dashboard for Microsoft Azure that enables Microsoft customers to view and analyze Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions generated by Microsoft based on their use of Microsoft Azure cloud services. New visualizations make it easier to view reports on carbon emissions, cloud usage, and carbon intensity based on Azure subscription, Azure service, and Azure region.

Among the recommendations of the sustainability design methodology, Azure suggests deploying to low-carbon regions, running batch workloads during low-carbon intensity periods and moving to PaaS and serverless workloads whenever possible. The use of SPOT VMs to take advantage of unused capacity in data centers and right sizing applications are other options that reduce underutilized compute resources, contributing to a lower carbon impact. Chad Kittel, principal software engineer at Microsoft, comments:

Everything you do as an architect is a tradeoff. Day in and day out, you're responsible for balancing reliability, security, cost optimization, operational excellence, and performance efficiency in your designs. Underlying it all though is considering your architecture's environmental impact.

Azure is not the only cloud provider offering a sustainability chapter in the well-architected framework: Google Cloud recently launched several new sustainability offerings and at the end of 2021 AWS introduced a sustainability pillar and a customer carbon footprint tool.

The first iteration of the WAF sustainability guidance covers six different design areas: application design, application platform, testing, operational procedures, networking and connectivity, storage and security.

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