Feeds

Storage sector needs to think greener

Before they're in the red

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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! ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'
Public IaaS... something's gotta give - and it may be AWS
Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it
CEO says it will be 'undisputed leader' in enterprise cloud tech
BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE
Just need to bring the fibre box within 19m ...
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.