Green Storage

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The Abstracts

Green Storage I - Economics, Environment, Energy and Engineering

SW Worth Download

Even non-geeks are becoming aware of the environmental impacts (especially energy costs) associated with data storage.  Discussions of "Green Storage" require understanding of fundamental concepts common to all components of a datacenter.  This SNIA Tutorial covers the concepts of Economics, Environment, Energy, and Engineering that are necessary to participate in the dialogue, whether you are a manager or a hands-on I.T. professional.  Wherever possible, the examples used refer to Storage, but detailed focus on Storage components and technologies is left for Part II.    We start with definitions of "Green" used by various groups, covering various motivations for making "Green" decisions for your organization.  This requires some economic theory, but you will be rewarded with a new-found ability to explain "Cap-and-Trade" management of Carbon and SOx (Sulfur Oxides, not Sarbanes-Oxley!) at cocktail parties.  This leads naturally to coverage of various environmental regulations and initiatives (e.g. ROHS, WEEE, Energy Star) that affect manufacturers and end-users of storage components or computers.  We will quickly review basic engineering topics relevant to understanding 'Green', including stuff you may have successfully avoided, such as environmental chemistry, thermodynamics, energy vs. power, and heat transfer.  (Examples include conversion losses, AC and DC power choices, and power supply efficiency.)  Since much of the focus in I.T. is on energy costs, we'll spend some time understanding energy supply and pricing (focused on the U.S. market), and provide some negotiating alternatives for dealing with your friendly energy suppliers.  We will review current problems in data center design, including increasing computational and storage density and the resulting energy and cooling issues.  All of this will come together to help guide your design process towards a better allocation of capital expenses (CapEx) and operational expenses (OpEx) to lower your TCO.  Bottom-line: After this session you will be armed with the knowledge you need to be part of the Green decision-making process for your datacenter, so those pesky server-geeks don't dominate the discussion! 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand what various groups mean by 'Green', especially as this term relates to storage network components and systems
  2. Understand some of the factors that should (or will) motivate your interest in "Green˜ storage, including regulation, competition, and TCO
  3. Understand why 'OpEx' (Operating expenses) can outweigh 'CapEx' (Capital expense) in TCO models, and how 'Green' factors increasingly influence OpEx.

Building the Green Data Center:  Towards Best Practices and Technical Considerations

Sol Squire and Rick Bauer Download

In the United States alone, buildings account for:

  • 65% of electricity consumption
  • 36% of energy use
  • 30% of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 30% of raw materials use
  • 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually), and
  • 12% of potable water consumption

Designing and building green data centers can have a significant impact on the environment and a company's bottom line. A green data center is a repository for the storage, management, and dissemination of data in which the mechanical, lighting, electrical and computer systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact. 

The green data center has moved from the theoretical to the realistic, with IT leaders being challenged to construct new data centers (or retrofit existing ones) with energy saving features, sustainable materials, and other environmental efficiencies in mind.

This tutorial will survey the wide variety of options and issues that the data center designer must keep in mind in these matters, as well as illustrate how government regulation and certification will be affecting the data centers of the future. Analysis will include the US Green Building Council LEED standard, as well as other regulatory standards that are driving green data center construction. 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. The construction and operation of a green data center includes advanced technologies and strategies. Learning Objective #1 is to identify and describe 10 different technology options for a builder to consider
  2. Delineation of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental design (LEED) Green Guilding Rating System. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality
  3. Highlight other considerations to keep in mind with designing and bulding green data centers, and the assembly of a "best practices" resource link for Green Construction on the SNIA Green Storage initiative website.

Growing the Green Storage Environment

Miklos Sandorfi Download

Powerful business applications, Internet-fueled data growth, compliance pressures, governance, and litigation defense are spurring corporations to produce and store more data than ever before. But there is a high cost to housing and processing this much data. Corporations are buying more and more energy to keep the lights on and the disks spinning, and to run the heavy duty cooling required for the dense storage and servers. The goal of the green data center must be to control energy output on the same large scale. As big as this challenge is, there are ways to meet it now and in the near future.  This tutorial will describe the state of the green data center: why the challenge is very real, what technologies exist today to counter that challenge, and why innovative software that shrinks and streamlines storage is key. It will explain why space-saving technologies like de-duplication and thin provisioning are crucial to achieving the green data center. These capabilities not only serve as the foundation for the energy-efficient data center, but also increase storage-related ROI across the board. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the definition of a Green Data Center and its four requirements, never losing sight of the fact that the main key to the green data center is to first shrink the amount of data it must house
  2. Understand the rationale behind the drive to shrink data for energy efficiency and obtain a working knowledge of the technologies to lessen the demand for storage capacity, namely data de-duplication and thin provisioning
  3. How to establish meaningful green metrics to provide ongoing significant savings.