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Verrus CEO Nelson Abramson

Verrus, Backed by Google Parent Alphabet, Targets AI Data Center Sustainability Challenges

March 13, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Verrus, backed by Google parent Alphabet, has emerged from stealth mode to help customers solve data center scalability and sustainability challenges -- especially in the age of generative AI application workloads.

Preliminary details about Verrus surfaced at the MIT Energy Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

In a statement posted on LinkedIn, Verrus CEO Nelson Abramson (pictured above) wrote: "How do we keep the lights on and bring up all this new datacenter capacity in a world where we are turning down fossil fuel power plants, bringing online intermittent renewables and electrify everything? I'm excited to announce that I'm joining Verrus as CEO, which we're bringing out of stealth today, to help make that possible!"

The startup surfaces at a key time. Indeed, multiple experts are warning that generative AI workloads may cause cloud and data center power consumption to skyrocket.

Amid that backdrop, Verrus is developing "power flow management and energy optimization systems" to "make our data centers grid aware, carbon aware, and compute aware," the startup asserts.

Some preliminary details about the business emerged in these March 2024 blogs:

Who Is Funding and Leading Verrus: Key Investors and Executives to Know

Verrus is funded by Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP) -- an organization formed by Alphabet, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) and StepStone Group.

Multiple Google, Meta and X (Twitter) veterans are involved in the startup. The Verrus executive team includes:

  • CEO Nelson Abramson, formerly global head of infrastructure at X (Twitter).
  • CTO Anand Ramesh, an EdgeConneX and Google data center veteran.
  • Commercial lead Jeff Monroe, who previously built a sustainable data center company called Verne Global.
  • Supply Chain Lead Donna Gilbert, formerly Meta's director of global supply chain, manufacturing and operations.
  • Engineering Lead Jimmy Clidaras, previously a distinguished engineer at Google, where he founded the company's Data Center R&D and other key teams.
  • Product Development Lead Ben Wheeler, formerly director of data center engineering, operations and capacity management at X.
  • Talent Acquisition Lead Michael Shaw, a Google and Meta veteran.

The company also is seeking to fill multiple positions as of March 2024. Still, we don't know when or how Verrus will productize their products and services.

Generative AI and Cloud Services: Energy Consumption, Scalability Concerns

Numerous companies -- including technology giants, startups and venture capitalists -- are seeking to solve various power supply, grid and energy consumption challenges associated with generative AI workloads, data centers and cloud services.

Among the sound bites to note:

At the same time, public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure are striving to embrace renewable energy to power their data centers.

We'll be watching to see if or when Verrus officially announces data center products, services and partner program initiatives.

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