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How Azure Virtual Desktop Can Help Your Organization Be More Sustainable 

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With increasing awareness of the importance of sustainable practices, it’s no wonder so many businesses are looking to implement and scale new methods of supporting sustainability. Among various culprits of high carbon emissions is end-user computing.  However, Azure Virtual Desktop is different – it helps companies reduce their carbon emissions.  

Microsoft has reported that Azure has been carbon neutral, emitting as much carbon as it has reduced, since 2012. And in 2018, they conducted a significant study (access it here) on the sustainability of the Microsoft Cloud versus on-site computer systems in 2018. The study showed significant results indicating that switching to cloud products could largely improve how sustainable and energy efficient a company is. Specifically, switching to Microsoft Azure from an on-premises environment could increase energy efficiency by up to 93%, and increase sustainability by decreasing carbon emissions by up to 98%.   

But more than just the environmental benefits of Microsoft Azure, Azure Virtual Desktop can help improve energy efficiency through three key factors: IT operational efficiency, IT equipment efficiency and datacenter infrastructure efficiency. These three components all work to reduce the amount of energy needed to deliver Azure Virtual Desktop and related services, which is much lower than the energy needed for traditional on-prem VDI.  

IT Operational Efficiency  

While an emphasis on application availability can lead to an overprovisioning of computing resources due to predicted demands, Azure is able to calculate the actual anticipated demand and ensure that that is met without allotting more resources than needed and taking more energy to do so. In addition, the cloud infrastructure of Azure can host thousands of companies and millions of users with balancing use patterns that create a predictable fluctuation of use loads. This also helps with the cost efficiency and predictability of Azure as organizations can leverage cost reduction strategies, Azure Reserved Instances (which you can learn more about here), and more to best align with their cloud budgets.   

IT Equipment Efficiency 

Keeping hardware components exacted to the services that will run ensures that all processes are being run on a leaner amount of energy. In addition, by working to ensure servers are functioning with maximum efficiency, Azure allows for highly advanced scaling. This is extremely important to the energy efficiency of a company, as Microsoft discovered in their study that specialized IT equipment can reduce electricity consumption by at least 10%.  

Datacenter Infrastructure Efficiency  

The hyperscale datacenters that power the Microsoft cloud are able to monitor every little component of datacenter overhead tasks, such as lighting, cooling and power conditioning. In doing so, they can achieve better power usage effectiveness, thus using less energy than an enterprise would with on-premises infrastructure.  

The Nerdio Benefit 

While using Microsoft Azure does lead to a lesser carbon footprint, a large part of that is because of the significant carbon offsetting Microsoft partakes in. Reducing carbon emissions through off-setting is a great step in the direction of becoming more sustainable; however, it is only one piece of the puzzle. Another significant component is power consumption. One of the key features of Nerdio Manager for Enterprise is auto-scaling, which can drastically reduce the power consumption of your Azure Virtual Desktop by customizing the power usage exactly to your needs so that you are not consuming (or paying for) more than you will use. You can learn more about what sets Nerdio’s auto-scaling apart from native Microsoft auto-scaling in this blog

In addition, Microsoft has launched a major initiative for renewable energy that’s helped reduce carbon emissions when using Azure Virtual Desktop. By 2025, they will ensure that Azure is supplied by 100% renewable energy.  

More and more companies are beginning to see the benefits of moving to the cloud, such as financial benefits, as well as the benefit of conserving resources. Those benefits are all significant and certainly helpful to your company, but when looking at the overarching, global benefits of Azure, the sustainable backing provided through the service should not be ignored. In a time when all eyes are on technology to begin providing answers to the climate crisis, it’s important to not overlook technology that is creating solutions to help individuals do their part. 

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