Cisco is aiming to make your data center, and your company, greener than ever

Cisco has unveiled plans for a major sustainability push as the company looks to go greener than ever.

With rising energy bills affecting businesses across the world, the company has revealed a number of initiaties aimed at lessening the environmental impact of technology.

The push was emphasized by company CEO Chuck Robbins, who took to the stage at Cisco Live 2023 to declare that sustainability is now among the company’s top five customer priorities.

Cisco sustainability

“Operating sustainably and equitably is the only way to do business,” Robbins added, highligthing Cisco’s goal to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 2040, and its commitment 100% product return upon request with no extra cost to customers.

Data centers are increasingly being identified as a hugely energy-hungry entity, with Cisco quoting figures that data center servers and switches draw up to 2% of all electricity in the United States alone, with energy consumption representing up to 30% of data center costs.

In order to give customers more insight into their energy consumption, the company has upgraded its Cisco Nexus Dashboard to include energy management analytics, giving extra visibility across the entire Cisco Networking Cloud.

With help from Cisco API integration partners Panduit and Vertiv, this will include real-time and historical insights into the energy consumption, energy costs, and greenhouse-gas emissions of Cisco Nexus switches and other IT equipment in the data center.

The service will also monitor the ambient temperature of data centers to help improve cooling efficiency, while keeping an eye on any additional servers, switches or storage.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins keynote

(Image credit: Cisco)

In the wider Interet of Things (IoT) scope, the company was keen to show off its Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard, which gives organizations real-time insight into the equipment, no matter where it is located. 

Also falling under scrutiny are Webex services such as meetings, video conferencing calls and meetings, which will now provide insights to Webex Control Hub, allowing users to estimate their emissions and examine monthly trends on energy consumption.

The company also appointed Mary de Wysocki as its first chief sustainability officer last year, and she was keen to highlight the work Cisco is doing.

“One of the fascinating areas going forward will be how we think about incorporating sustainable decisions deeper into our business,” she said. “I do think that as we show up into the community, we can have a positive impact as we think about the right technologies, policies, and practices.”

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