Vendors are Jumping Back on the “Being Green” Bandwagon – This Time with Real Savings to Tout

Jason Marcheck
Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

• Movements to increase energy efficiency and contribute to environmental sustainability are not new; however where they’ve often involved significant CapEx trade-offs to realize meaningful cost savings

• Momentum behind cloud and NFV technologies has reignited “green network” messaging, this time with orders of magnitude cost savings claims

Do anything long enough and the phrase, “Everything old is new again” will eventually play out. So, it was earlier this week, while at GENBAND’S Perspectives15 conference, that I had flashbacks to a topic du jour from many days gone by – environmental sustainability in telecom networking. The topic came up multiple times during the event, first at pre-show meetings with GENBAND execs, and then again during CEO David Walsh’s opening keynote address.

Now, I knew I had heard the gist of this message before, so I did a search on the Current Analysis website to see if I could spot any patterns in when we last wrote about “being green” as a major topic. Sure enough, that very search term (“being green”) yielded several dozen hits – all from 2008. So, there you have it, let’s call it the environmental sustainability version of the seven year itch. Of course, the first question to ask when a trend circles back is, “What’s different this time around?”

At GENBAND’s event the message was simple: Allow GENBAND to perform comprehensive network transformation from legacy equipment to new IP and/or cloud-based network architectures and the cost savings related to reduced power consumption alone will pay for the entire project. As I mentioned, I’ve been doing this a while. And although GENBAND cited a couple case study examples of collapsing hundreds of racks of equipment down to a single rack of COTS hardware, I still had trouble believing what I was hearing. So, I did what most of us do nowadays when we hear or see something that blows our mind – I tweeted about it.

And, sure enough, I quickly learned that GENBAND wasn’t alone in touting this message. Notably, Nokia Networks quickly pointed me to their recent blog post which espoused similar findings. So, all in all, it seems that the past few weeks have confirmed that being green is a “thing” again in telecom networking. However, this time around, I’m getting the sense that unlike previous episodes, when cost savings claims got quickly diluted viewed against the CapEx required to rip and replace old equipment with new gear, being Green can now save operators some serious money.

And, that is why being green might matter a whole lot more this time around – because the “green” it saves looks a whole lot better on a balance sheet than grass and trees.

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