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Open Networks, The Circular Data Center and ITRenew: A Discussion with Ali Fenn

In just a few weeks, more than 3,600 key decision makers, executives, engineers developers and suppliers will come together to help grow, drive and support the open hardware ecosystem for data centers at the much-anticipated OCP Global Summit.

ITRenew is a leader in transforming the global IT industry by operationalizing circular data centers to unblock markets, maximize sustainability and catalyze financial opportunities and growth. We had the chance to catch up with Ali Fenn, President of ITRenew, to discuss ITRenew’s latest open hardware initiatives, industry trends and being a Diamond Sponsor at the much-anticipated OCP Global Summit in March.


ITRenew is headed to the OCP Global Summit in March as a Diamond Sponsor. How has being part of the Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) community helped advance ITRenew’s global circular IT ecosystem initiatives?

Open is a fundamental enabler of circular and all its associated benefits. And OCP is the industry’s leading open hardware platform and community. Being a part of this community has enabled us to collaborate with the best developers on things like Open Systems Firmware (OSF), and to team up with the professionals leading the charge to bring ‘open for all’ – which requires exactly the integrated, warrantied, no-compromise solutions that we at ITRenew have launched. Without open hardware, second lives and circular business models would be severely hamstrung.


You and your company are leading the way to revolutionize how IT hardware is managed and deployed around the world through ITRenew’s Sesame by ITRenew line of compute and storage solutions. How does Sesame create a ‘hyperscale for all’ environment for infrastructure buyers and what impact is it having on the industry?

The major hyperscalers have led the work in the shift to open and ODM hardware, a transition made possible only by the many thousands of developers they have and their ability to design, deploy and manage infrastructure with no external support. The result is that they enjoy a significant hardware TCO advantage, traditionally inaccessible to the rest of the world, comprised of companies that don’t have this depth of resources and expertise. Sesame upends this dynamic – by taking the best and proven hyperscale technology, configuring it into integrated solutions for common workloads and applications, and bringing it to market ready to be deployed and with full warranty support. The net effect is that open hyperscale technology is now useful and usable by the broader data center operators and markets, democratizing access to the long-sought TCO advantage of open hardware. 


ITRenew will be featured in several speaking sessions and critical discussions at OCP Global Summit. What do you hope to take away from the open collaboration event?

The Global Summit brings together top tier executives, technologists, partners and customers. It is a great place to advance ideas, identify opportunities for collaboration and move the market forward together. We’re excited to see this group convening to continue the groundswell of momentum towards ‘open for all.’ Now is the time to make circular solutions that deliver maximum value of IT hardware and sustainability real for the industry. That’s the focus of the sessions we’re leading and the opportunity the Summit creates to work with the community, activate great new customers and learn about the other areas of innovation happening. These are our goals for the event. 


What trends do you see in the future for circular data centers?

There is tremendous opportunity in the transformation to circular data centers. Heat can be recaptured and returned to the grid as energy. Facilities infrastructure can be made of increasingly sustainable materials. And IT equipment can be cascaded into multiple loops of life, deferring a tremendous amount of new manufacturing and the associated carbon impact and cost. Circular innovation will be a key enabler of the industry’s essential move beyond renewable goals achieved via credits, to truly sustainable practices that are required both to optimize TCO and to enable essential, continued growth.  


How can OCP Global Summit attendees connect with ITRenew at the event?

ITRenew is a Diamond Sponsor and our team will be available in booth B26 any time throughout the show to talk about technical and commercial opportunities, economics, and sustainability.  We are also presenting 6 sessions across the Exec tracks, the Expo Hall and technical workshops. We welcome all participation and discussion in these forums!


Click here to schedule a meeting with Ali Fenn and the ITRenew team at the OCP Global Summit on March 4-5 in San Jose, CA. To learn more about ITRenew, click here.

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