Green Storage

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The Abstracts

Green Storage: The Big Picture
SW Worth

“Green” Storage is about more than just reducing operational expenses (OpEx) for energy and cooling.  If your data center were somehow able to shut down all of its Storage devices when they are not being used, you could certainly save a lot on your energy bills.  However, your organization would still have to bear the capital expenses (CapEx) not only for the Storage equipment, but also for the power-hungry equipment needed to support the IT gear in your data center, including those mysterious boxes with strange names (UPS, PDU, CRAC, CFD, and more).  This stuff really matters – if you don’t pay attention, those pesky server-geeks will end up running the data center, hogging all the credit for virtualizing and consolidating their servers, and blaming your Storage gear for ruining the planet, or at least breaking the IT budget.    This SNIA Tutorial helps you understand the “Big Picture” affecting your IT CapEx, OpEx, and engineering decisions to minimize your TCO and environmental impacts.  Get a quick primer on the key differences between “power” and “energy”, the economics of energy supply, including carbon taxes and how “cap-and-trade” will affect your IT planning.  Understand why environmental regulations in Europe and Asia directly affect the IT equipment you buy, and even how you can dispose of your worn-out gear.  Even if you successfully avoided topics such as environmental chemistry, thermodynamics, and heat transfer in school, you’ll get a quick and relatively painless refresher on why these issues matter to your IT decisions.      We’ll leverage your knowledge to drill into best practices for data centers, with practical advice for lowering your energy overhead to less than 25% of your IT energy usage.  (It’s probably close to 100% overhead right now!)  Examples include conversion losses, AC and DC power choices, and power supply and fan efficiency improvements.  By the end of this session you’ll know why it’s a really good idea to make friends with your facilities manager.  You’ll even get some great suggestions for negotiating reductions of your energy bills from your friendly local utility.    All of this doesn’t mean that we won’t have time to introduce Storage-specific “green” topics, including proper use of various RAID levels, data reduction (snapshots, compression, and de-duplication), thin provisioning, and other useful techniques.  However, later “Green Storage” Tutorials will offer more detailed drill-downs on these topics.

Learning Objectives:

  • Get a "Big Picture" overview of what "Green" means to IT, and specifically for Storage
  • Gain a good understanding of how the power and cooling issues in your datacenter will affect your IT decisions
  • Understand why 'OpEx' (Operating expenses) can outweigh 'CapEx' (Capital expense) in TCO models, and how 'Green' factors increasingly influence OpEx


Technologies for Green Storage
Dr. Alan Yoder

Hardware efficiencies are essential to reducing the amount of power used by storage. Equally real savings are obtained by reducing the number of copies of your data that must be made, kept and managed.  This talk presents a number of technologies, ranging from thin provisioning and virtualization to flywheel UPSs, that each address part of the problem, and illustrates the impact that each technology can have on your data center footprint. This talk incorporates new learning by the GSI and Green  TWG in 2009.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about facilities- and networking-side technologies that can dramatically reduce the energy footprint of your data center. Examples include fresh air economizers, hot aisle/cold aisle technologies and-surprisingly-spam filtering
  • Learn about power-saving technologies under development and in the product pipeline from storage manufacturers, such as variable speed fans and 80+ power supplies.
  • Learn about capacity-saving technologies that can reduce the power, space and cooling footprint of your data, such as thin provisioning and deduplication


Green Storage II:  Metrics and Measurements
Dr. Erik Riedel

This tutorial will cover storage-specific topics related to
energy-efficiency and outline the current state of the industry.  We
will discuss the range of technologies that are currently considered
"green storage", including a discussion of metrics for measuring,
managing and designing for power in storage systems.  We will also
outline ongoing efforts in the SNIA Green Storage TWG and in
partnership with EPA ENERGY STAR(r), The Green Grid, the DMTF and
other industry groups.

This tutorial assumes that you are familiar with the basic concepts of
Storage, and that you know something about the Energy and Engineering
topics covered in the "Green Storage I" tutorial.  This session is
focused on storage-specific aspects of "green" (especially energy and
power), covering the following technical topics:

- Metrics and Modeling - what matters for storage power and how can
  it be measured.

- How Idle Is Your Storage? - balancing energy efficiency with the
  various background activities that are part of the regular care and
  feeding of large-scale data storage.

- Industry-wide and regulatory issues around improving energy

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the storage-specific aspects of "green" (especially energy and power) for storage components and aggregated products (e.g. JBOD, RAID, MAID)
  • Outline considerations in how to measure and model storage energyand power in storage systems
  • Understand some of the technologies to reduce the ongoing energy costs of maintaining the data you manage.