What is Green Storage?

For data center IT operators/storage administrators, green storage is an iterative series of data and storage system planning and implementation decisions that result in reducing the data center storage footprint.  A Green Storage plan would entail a data lifecycle strategy over a tiered storage architecture that can be onsite, offsite, and offline. The storage footprint:

  • Physical data center floor space for the storage system (power to the storage, power and cooling for HVAC)
  • Logical data storage capacity within the physical storage system
  • Reducing energy consumed to power the storage systems and protect the data
  • Managing data as part of a data lifecycle strategy for responsiveness, compliance, and supporting the business, along with data deletion with considerations for latency and response time, and time to first data

Compliance officers overseeing corporate objectives for selecting eco-friendly suppliers and deploying eco-friendly technologies, and reductions in e-waste, may investigate further the industry initiatives by EPEAT and TCO.  Within these initiatives storage systems suppliers and their products are being reviewed from cradle to grave for the efficiency of the manufacturer to produce the storage system, IT operators to operate it, materials comprising the storage system, and storage system retirement for recyclability and reuse.  In addition to the system retirement, there are considerations for data protection/destruction and secure data erasure.

Though a storage administrator may be concerned with the storage systems on premises, corporate compliance officers may review off-premises service providers for cloud data storage and offline data archival.

For further reading and understanding:

  • SNIA Emerald™ test and power efficiency measurement specification, when referenced by national regulatory bodies, gives insight to a storage systems energy usage under typical enterprise data center IO loads.
  • SNIA whitepapers and tutorials have outlined the considerations for reducing the physical storage footprint and correlated power consumption.  Visit the SNIA Education Library to find all the resources related to Green Storage.
  • SNIA and many storage system vendors provide information on data lifecycle management layered across a tiered storage architecture to support business application requirements for data protection, disaster recovery, and application-data latency and response times.
    • SNIA Emerald test measurement specification includes a taxonomy that spans online, near-online, and offline systems. 
  • Industry programs that encompass eco-friendly lifecycle considerations for IT systems. These programs continue to evolve with industry regulations and learned lessons.

Learn more about Green Storage in our Educational Library