Exclusive: Interview with Charles Giancarlo, CEO at Pure Storage
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Exclusive: Interview with Charles Giancarlo, CEO at Pure Storage

Exclusive: Interview with Charles Giancarlo, CEO at Pure Storage

When it comes to sustainability, Giancarlo explains why it is an essential element for tech companies and why they need to consider ESG now than ever

Giancarlo Pure Storage

Why is sustainability an essential element for tech companies?
When it comes to sustainability, we’ve seen that most IT businesses, in general, have focused on their operations rather than their products. However, for every company that manufactures anything, the part of their business that consumes the most energy and produces the most waste, is usually their product.

So, at Pure Storage, our focus from the beginning was on sustainability, energy efficiency and the simplicity of our products. Since joining the firm about five years ago, I’ve promoted how much space, power, and cooling our systems save compared to what was previously available, as well as compared to the competitors. Although customers were previously unconcerned, the global attention on ESG has increased at a quicker rate in recent years. As a result, our energy efficiency and waste reduction are becoming increasingly significant to customer requirements.

But why do you think tech companies need to consider ESG now more than ever?
Firstly, global warming and climate change are becoming prominent organisations and countries. People also believe that emitting less carbon dioxide is beneficial. Then there’s the expense and scarcity of power — it’s good if we can deliver the same set of capabilities with a fifth of the power demand. And finally, regardless of anything, it is less expensive and less stressful for the environment.

How can we make data centres more sustainable in the future?
Data centres are about computation and data analytics, so it’s a good thing if you can deliver the same level of analytics or processing while consuming less energy. Now, most organisations globally are focusing on being carbon neutral, but it is easier to achieve if you create less energy in the first place. As a result, I believe that focusing on energy conservation is the first letter in the sustainability alphabet.

Supply chain issues globally have become the new norm. So what is the USP of Pure Storage’s supply chain?
Our supply chain is highly resilient, and in the last two years, we have proven it with all the supply chain disruptions that have taken place. We’ve been able to ship every five to 10 days in the past, and it’s currently taking three to six weeks. Overall, it’s a challenging situation in terms of the supply chain, with suppliers backtracking on their previous agreements, and we see fresh de-commitments every week. Despite this, we have excellent working ties with our suppliers. Our engineering team is also highly involved, and if we can’t acquire a particular part, we’ll redesign the product to be able to accept a different part. So far, we’ve managed to get about rather successfully.

How are you helping customers reduce their environmental footprint?
Our products and services provide environmental advantages due to a mix of technology, design philosophy, and a focus on delivering the most significant results for clients. Our fundamental technologies combine software and hardware architecture to enable unparalleled density, longevity, and efficiency, as well as the ability to continuously develop and create additional savings over time. We think that these advantages can only be realised through closely linked software and hardware.

Furthermore, compared to our competitors’ flash products, we use just 20 per cent of their power usage. We only use 1/5 the amount of power for the same level of capacity and performance. This benefits consumers tremendously because there is carbon neutrality, and then there are power requirements. And if you need 1/5 of the electricity, the quantity of offsets you’ll have to buy, or the amount of solar power you’ll need is just reduced. As a result, it helps in meeting their ESG objectives.

Emphasising sustainability sometimes has an impact on prices. How is Pure Storage addressing this issue?
Nearly all hardware and software products have a lifetime, and in the case of storage systems, it would have a lifespan of roughly five years. And at the end of that lifespan, the client can purchase extended maintenance or replace the system. Unfortunately, for data, that requires a very complex process called data migration which can take months or a year. Also, it tends to be risky and usually brings down the system.

With regards to Pure Storage products, we have always carried a premium. Customers will often pay a little extra for our product for several reasons. One is that our products are highly reliable than any products in the market. Secondly, our products don’t have a lifespan because we’ve built them to be evergreen, which means upgrading them piece by piece over time.

As a result, a system installed 10 years ago will resemble a system we offer today. And we never take the customer’s application environment down; we can accomplish this without causing any disruption. Because of our evergreen programme, high dependability, and convenience, our products usually require less human operations. They’re effortless to operate, which would usually result in a higher price for our product. However, the total cost of ownership measured over a period of time is less than our competition, even though we get that premium.

Read: Pure Storage partners with Meta on AI Research SuperCluster

Also read: Here’s how technology plays a vital role in sustainability

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