Feeds

Storage sector needs to think greener

Before they're in the red

High performance access to file storage

SNW Fingernail biting over the cost of storage power and cooling hasn't reached the epoch haunting the server space, but it's headed that way.

The green bandwagon is departing, and it's high time for storage managers to jump aboard, according to Microsoft senior manager SW Worth.

"A lot of focus on green computing is on servers," he said at Storage Networking World in Dallas. "Storage people need to get in on the conversation."

While server technology advances at an almost alarming rate, storage has plodded at a more steady pace. Think tortoise and the hare, only the finish line is financial ruin.

Never-the-less, the number of drives per server is growing, tape is being replaced by disk, businesses are storing more and more information, disk array controllers and HBAs need more power — the list goes on — but too often businesses don't address the issues in the same way they do for servers.

Nip it in the bud

According to Microsoft's Worth, storage operational expenses will surpass the initial purchase price of storage gear as early as this year in some cases. Gartner has mirrored his concern in a recent report. The technology research firm says the power demands of high-density storage gear will exceed the limits of current data centers, causing "significant disruptions" and expense in coming years.

Worth offers some (dare we? — worthy) advice:

  • Storage admins need to talk to their facilities managers. Utility providers such as California's PG&E are eager to offer rebates for reducing power consumption. Yet Worth said that until about a week ago, none of the publicity for the program has involved storage. "We've been behind on this issue as a storage industry."

  • Consider alternatives such as converting from AC to DC distribution. Studies have shown that data centers can save up to 15 per cent or more on energy consumption and cost by making the switch.

  • Operate cooling effectively. Use temperature sensors and follow the basic rules of hot/cold aisles.

  • Reduce performance whenever possible. "Not everything needs to be done with tier one storage," said Worth. Don't forsake the tape, but if you must... "With disk drives, we can look at really large, really slow disk drives." Sometimes speed isn't necessary. For instance, if you're offering large amounts of space for a free email service, you don't necessarily owe them the fastest response time.

  • Consider methods to increase density such as de-duplication.

  • And lastly, if all else fails: move. If you're located in the US and live in one of the most expensive states to power a data center (Hawaii, Washington DC, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California) think about this:

Virginia is lovely this time of year. So is Nebraska — we hear they have more miles of river than any other state. And the soybeans, oh, to die for! ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan
All routes should transit America, apparently
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.