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If you can’t measure sustainability, you can’t manage it

A sneak peek at the NetApp BlueXP Sustainability Dashboard

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Matt Watts

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This quote is often attributed to influential management thinker, Peter Drucker. It’s become so ubiquitous in modern business today that it’s approaching cliché. However, Drucker never said it. He actually argued that to manage effectively, measurement is necessary but not sufficient, and good managers recognize its value as a piece of the puzzle. This nuance is lost in the line as it’s often used.

At NetApp, we agree that complex business problems can be solved when you empower good managers with real data. This perspective guides our approach to sustainability. We were pioneers in reporting temperature and power consumption of NetApp® ONTAP® arrays in our Cloud Insights product. But we feel strongly that to tackle a problem like sustainability in the data center, managers need to develop a strategy informed by the global picture of the data estate.

That’s why I’m pleased to announce the next step in our journey toward carbon-aware data management. Sustainability is front and center in the NetApp® BlueXP dashboard. BlueXP, announced at INSIGHT 2022, is our unified control plane for hybrid multicloud enterprise data estates, spanning on premises and cloud-based resources. It vastly simplifies management of storage and data so that managers can optimize their use of resources to achieve their business goals.

Sustainability has joined cost, performance, and reliability as a key performance indicator for storage. BlueXP helps IT managers show progress toward achieving corporate environmental goals. Coming mid 2023, the BlueXP Sustainability Dashboard will provide a top-line sustainability score, representing the efficiency of the entire data estate in a single KPI. This sustainability score includes trending so that the progress of enabling sustainability capabilities and improvement across the data estate can be viewed over time.

Sustainability dashboard showing pie chart and couple of tables

BlueXP also offers actionable recommendations to improve your score. Managers can act on these recommendations directly from the sustainability console without having to switch to other tools. The dashboard also provides detailed drill-downs to explore real-time power consumption at the cluster, aggregate, and node levels. This data can also help to identify workloads that can be shifted to more efficient storage, striking the optimal balance between performance and power efficiency.

Drucker’s most famous quote may not actually be from him, but in his 1959 bestseller People and Performance, he wrote that “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” The new BlueXP Sustainability Dashboard gives you the power to manage your entire data estate and to show leadership in saving the planet. And that is the right thing for modern business.

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Matt Watts

As Chief Technology Evangelist, Matt Watts provides guidance on NetApp’s overall strategy and technology solutions to a wide base of customers and the global partner community. Matt is also part of the portfolio leadership team, providing advice and guidance on technology and transformation.

Matt is increasingly in demand as a keynote speaker, combining his knowledge of the IT industry with anecdotes and stories that bring technology to life with witty, easily understandable examples.

Prior to this role, Matt Project Managed a number of significant IT projects; managed System Engineers responsible for providing installation and onsite support; as well as overseeing IT outsourcing contracts. This experience has given him contact with all levels of Leadership, enabling him to understand, communicate with and support clients with their IT and transformation Strategies.

Matt Watts shares his experiences and industry learnings on his blog

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