Feeds

Is green storage a dead end?

Greenery will choke storage suppliers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

The SCSI Trade Association website has run an article entitled The Data Center’s Green Direction is a Dead End by Steve Denegri. It argues that the storage industry is effectively in denial and that we need more energy, not less, for the health of our industry.

Denegri is a storage consultant and financial analyst. His pitch is that: “Countless industries have reached an energy ceiling over the past half century, only to realize soon after that revenue potential had peaked.” Storage could be becoming one of these and suffering the consequent industry contraction and “massive shakeout”.

“The cold, hard truth is that an ample supply of energy is necessary to grow any business over the long-term, and the storage industry is shying away from the harsh reality that a sufficient amount of energy is, unfortunately, not available to keep the industry growing.” We need to “expand the capacity of the power grid” instead of “embracing the energy efficiency paradigm”.

This is contrarian thinking with a vengeance. Is it justified?

The author argues that customers don’t really want green — meaning lower energy-using — storage but lower energy bills and the removal of supply constraints. He says that pursuing energy-efficient products will hit the brick wall of the diminishing returns law with succeeding product generations costing a lot more to develop but saving a lot less energy.

“The return on investment (ROI) for the R&D that will be necessary to expand the storage benefit per consumed watt will almost certainly shrink over time, resulting in lower and lower profit margins. Flat to shrinking revenue and declining ROI are the ingredients of a decaying industry.”

He reckons that the Uptime Institute is right in saying that server virtualization benefits will peak in 2010 at which point more physical servers will be needed per data center. “In order to satisfy the demand, the Uptime Institute suggests that ‘multiple thousand-megawatt’ power plants will be needed once the server virtualization benefit phase ends.”

The crux of his article declares: “Green computing is almost the equivalent of battling a raging inferno through the design of smaller matches. If only (the storage industry) consortia realized that by hailing their energy-efficiency activities, they merely appear content with a reputation of environmental responsibility as they proclaim their industry’s doomed state. In fact, without more power plants, the typical storage industry consortium had best realize that its membership numbers will soon be on the decline. As the automotive industry’s experience proves, the number of suppliers to the storage industry will soon fall off of a cliff.”

We should heed the lessons of the similarly OEM-dominated automotive industry, where the supplier-to-OEM ratio has shrunk, he says, because “the automotive industry saw a major transition to energy-efficient products beginning in the late 1970s”.

He wants the storage industry and its representative consortia to fight to expand the power grid. We need more energy to grow. It’s left unsaid, but if that has to be greener energy then so be it. Cover the deserts with solar panels, whatever, but release the energy-constricting choke hold from data centers’ necks because it will kill our industry and many suppliers will go out of business.

Copyright © 2008, Blocks & Files.com

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
No biggie: EMC's XtremIO firmware upgrade 'will wipe data'
But it'll have no impact and will be seamless, we're told
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.