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Sustainable on the automotive data highway

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Christian Ott
Christian Ott

The automotive industry is undergoing profound, data-driven digital transformation. But this digitization needs to be sustainable—which is crucial for international competitiveness. IT service providers such as NetApp are helping to make the automotive industry sustainable on the data highway.

Large vehicle manufacturers such as VW and Daimler are already developing more new software than new engines. Suppliers are restructuring their business models, which have grown over decades and are oriented toward combustion engines. So, the digital transformation of the industry is already underway. And that means the amount of data to be stored is increasing, whether through autonomous driving vehicles or production processes dominated by Industry 4.0. By 2030, the global data volume is expected to reach 1 yottabyte. These developments will result in enormous power consumption due to the cooling required in the data centers—and emissions due to fossil sources, which still dominate.

But to compete with the Teslas and BYDs of this world, local original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will have to become more digital even faster. So, the solution to the emissions problem isn’t simply less data, but the right data—and using it to shape new business models. Considering that only about 32% of the data created is ever subsequently reused, the waste is obvious. Most data consumes storage capacity and resources, but never generates any added value.

Keeping track of all data streams with a data fabric

To use data more efficiently, automotive companies need a comprehensive overview of what is stored where. To get this kind of oversight, they can use NetApp® solutions for a data fabric. Whether the data is on premises or in a private or public cloud, companies can keep track of all their data streams using NetApp’s DataOps and CloudOps services from NetApp.

There's also a lot to be gained by optimizing storage location. By doing a data inventory, you might find data packages that are stored on premises but can be easily offloaded to a cloud, which can improve your carbon footprint. Hyperscalers such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have an interest in operating their data centers sustainably—and as major customers of the energy suppliers, they could even influence power generation.

Sustainable data must add value

However, optimizing storage location doesn’t solve the problem of data accumulation. As digitization advances, unnecessary power consumption is a growing problem. That’s why companies must harness analytics tools to shed light on how data is being used—or not used. Users can identify data packages that aren’t adding value and decide individually what to do with them. In addition, NetApp offers infrastructure monitoring tools, so users can see how much energy workloads are consuming. Workloads that are particularly energy intensive can be shifted to environments that operate more efficiently and with lower energy consumption.

As it turns out, automotive companies that add cloud services and comprehensive data management solutions to their IT environments are improving their sustainability not only on the road, but also on the information data highway -- putting them ahead in the race for the future of the automotive industry.

To learn more, visit the NetApp automotive data solutions page.

Christian Ott

Christian Ott is NetApp’s CTO Industry Solutions. Industry solutions lie at the heart of NetApp’s industry-focused cloud solutions strategy, that empower customers to envision new opportunities and reach their transformation goals, across global industries. These include automotive, financial services, energy, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing and more. During his 10+ years at NetApp, Chris has held several positions in technical sales and management and was responsible for various customers in the semiconductor, manufacturing and automotive industries. In his free time Chris likes to swim, bike and run but it’s not enough for triathlon, yet. 

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