What Is an SLA for Energy Efficiency?

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A service level agreement (SLA) for energy efficiency is a guarantee from a service provider that specifically pertains to energy usage metrics. Similar to all SLAs, which outline agreed-upon minimum performance and capacity to a customer (depending on their service tier), an energy efficiency SLA specifically outlines the power utilization metrics. 

Why is this new type of SLA so important? As environmental regulations, ESG initiatives, and the rising cost of power continue to impact business decisions, organizations are looking for new and better ways to improve power utilization in the data center and beyond. 

Energy efficiency SLAs are an important step in helping organizations meet their ESG goals, standardize power reduction efforts, and consciously choose service providers who share their values.

Learn more about SLAs: SLA vs. SLO vs. SLI >>

What Is an SLA for Energy Efficiency?

An SLA for energy efficiency is a guarantee to deliver a service at no more than a specified watt per unit of measure, depending on a tier of service—in this case, per tebibyte (TiB) of effective used capacity. If a customer has purchased data storage as a service (STaaS), an energy efficiency SLA from their STaaS provider could detail how much energy is used per array, per unit of data stored.

While the purpose of most SLAs is to ensure an agreed-upon level of service, quality, availability, capacity, and performance, the purpose of an SLA for energy efficiency is to ensure adherence to a strict energy usage limit. This is possible thanks to accurate, real-time energy usage metrics. In the STaaS example, a data storage array’s power consumption may be monitored in a real-time dashboard, creating both transparency and accountability. Many times there may also be a requirement to extract this data via reports and APIs so that it can be integrated into larger enterprise-wide systems.

SLAs can also be structured to include provisions for how a customer is compensated if the SLA is not met and how the provider will remediate the issue to meet the SLA going forward. For example, if a data center outage or traffic spike leads to downtime or diminished bandwidth or performance, there may be remediations and fixes offered by the provider, in addition to any service credits.

Why Does an Energy Efficiency SLA Matter to You?

With any as-a-service delivery method, SLAs give customers transparency and peace of mind about a service, which may be off premises or managed by the provider.

The benefits of an energy efficiency SLA are similar. The transparency gives customers accurate data about their power utilization, guaranteeing the provider will adhere to improved efficiency standards. Down the line, these insights can help organizations hone in on areas of improvement or make future purchasing and licensing decisions that positively impact power consumption and cost.

The benefits stretch beyond the bottom line, however. In today’s world, two things are true:

  • We’re creating more data than ever before.
  • Storing all that data requires more energy and power. 

Prioritizing energy efficiency in data storage technology can address both concerns at once. And for organizations that don’t just hold themselves accountable for change, this enables them to choose partners and providers who share the same goals, creating an ecosystem of sustainably minded partners.

Looking at energy efficiency SLAs in STaaS models, in particular, the benefits include:

  • Cost savings from improved energy efficiency. Improve operational efficiency by reducing overall power and energy consumption of data storage. 

  • Reduce carbon footprint in the data center. It can help to minimize energy consumption of data storage, known to be a resource-intensive part of IT operations. Technology that can promise to achieve five times more data storage for less than a watt of power consumption per TiB not only reduces power utilization, it can also reduce rack space and overall data center footprints.

  • Meet your ESG goals. Build a more sustainable future, work toward obtaining carbon neutrality, and meet regulatory requirements.

What Does the Pure Storage® Evergreen//One™ Efficiency SLA Promise? 

The Pure Storage Evergreen//One efficiency SLA promises performance and capacity while guaranteeing watts per TiB. This energy efficiency SLA is the first in the industry, making Evergreen//One the only storage-as-a-service (STaaS) offering to promise both efficiency and operational excellence.

Here’s how it works:

  • Pure 1® powers the Pure Storage Evergreen//One energy efficiency SLA by providing visibility (i.e., watts per unit of data) into the energy usage of Pure Storage systems.
  • All new Evergreen//One block service contracts that meet minimum qualifying commit requirements (Performance, Premium, or Ultra contract) with 300TiB or a block capacity of 500TiB are subject to the SLA.
  • “Watts” are based on the actual array reported hourly power demand (measured in W) and calculated based on a 30-day average of the power demand for the array.
  • “TiB” means either (whichever is greater):
    • Reserve commitment, plus the 25% buffer deployed with the system(s), or
    • Total Estimated Effective Used Capacity for the applicable systems in a license based on deployed Effective Capacity
  • In the event the SLA is not met, Pure will (a) pay the customer the SLA credit based on the Reserve Rate, including as credits toward future purchases or invoices, and (b) fix the issue in two ways:
    • “Densify,” replacing deployed data packs with larger data packs to meet SLA
    • “Consolidate” many smaller arrays into one large array

With this new, first-of-its-kind SLA, Evergreen//One now enables customers of all sizes to benefit from continuous innovation, financial flexibility and operational agility, and the greenest data storage technology on our planet.

Learn more about Evergreen//One.

*PRE Ratio. These numbers assume that Pure can do at least a 2:1 data reduction. If you bring data that is already pre-reduced, the watt/TiB will be two times the numbers provided as Pure will not be able to do any data reduction. This is true for all tiers except the Capacity Tier because the Capacity Tier's watts/TiB are calculated assuming no data reduction. For the Capacity Tier, the watts/TiB stays the same, and for other tiers, it will be two times the numbers because the data is already reduced.

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