Going Green: Credera at the AWS Sustainability GameDay 2023
In June 2023, Credera had the opportunity to participate in the first in-person AWS GameDay – Partner League – an event held in Manchester. GameDays are an excellent opportunity for architects, engineers, and other technical folk to work together, learn new ideas, and have fun in a hackathon-like environment.
The focus of this GameDay was sustainability, which is a key concern for many organisations including AWS, who are planning to power their operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and achieve net zero emissions by 2040.
We received access to an AWS account of a mock company – Unicorn Rentals. Our task was to optimise the existing resources to make the solutions more energy- and cost-efficient.
We started by carefully reading the instructions and brainstorming potential activity. We then split the tasks between us based on what technologies we were most well-versed in, and helped each other with various challenges along the way.
The quests that we attempted related to various aspects of cloud architecture and allowed us to learn more about several AWS offerings. For example, we optimised SQL queries for minimum impact on database performance, applied dynamic scaling policies, and reduced our data footprint by compressing ingested data using AWS Glue.
Our GameDay tips
For those planning to participate in a future AWS Partner Game Day, here are the top three things to consider before the event:
1. Divide and conquer
Dividing the tasks between the team allowed us to start scoring points early on in different categories. We could identify easy wins and continue to capitalise on them throughout the challenge as the points accumulated.
2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
There is an element of randomness to the game, which means that it’s difficult to predict which quest will generate the most points. Spending a lot of time on making one service perfect may not pay off. We did our best to avoid focusing too much of our attention on one task to improve our chances of winning.
3. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Make sure that you inspect your AWS environment before making changes. You may find that certain resources have been set up for you or that there are hints in the code that may make your job easier.
Practical takeaways We learned a lot from the solution architects running the event. Here are three ideas to apply to your own solutions:
1. Pick odd times
Most teams run their batch jobs at even hours - for example, 1:00 am - which causes spikes in the use of the underlying infrastructure. By scheduling these jobs at other times - for example, 1:17 - we can do our bit to help AWS stagger these jobs and run them more efficiently.
2. Switch off after work
Monitor your workloads carefully, because the chances are that some of your resources are only used during working hours. Consider implementing automation to turn them off when not in use and shutting down EC2 instances at the end of the day.
3. Choose the right offering
We frequently select serverless offerings and make use of auto-scaling to build cloud platforms and services, these can reduce the cost and environmental footprint of workloads. At this event, we learned about new offerings for compute such as graviton processors – which use less energy than comparable ec2 instances.
Credera Sustainability services
Technology plays a crucial role in not only being sustainable itself, but also in being an enabler towards sustainability. At Credera, we help our clients to develop short and long-term roadmaps for their technology estates to reach sustainability objectives. And through optimal data centre placement, hardware selection and cloud architecture, we provide solutions to minimise environmental impact. We also provide data and analytics expertise to mobilise reporting, analytics and insights to track and measure the environmental impact of technology.
In addition to helping our clients address their sustainability challenges, we have a dedicated CredClimate team focused on our own internal sustainability targets.