Best Practices for Energy Efficient Storage Operations

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Publish Date: 
Monday, October 6, 2008
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Abstract: 

The energy required to support data center IT operations is becoming a central concern worldwide. For some data centers, additional energy supply is simply not available, either due to finite power generation capacity in certain regions or the inability of the power distribution grid to accommodate more lines. Even if energy is available, it comes at an ever increasing cost. With current pricing, the cost of powering IT equipment is often higher than the original cost of the equipment itself.

The increasing scarcity and higher cost of energy, however, is being accompanied by a sustained growth of applications and data. Simply throwing more hardware assets at the problem is no longer viable. More hardware means more energy consumption, more heat generation and increasing load on the data center cooling system. Companies are therefore now seeking ways to accommodate data growth while reducing their overall power profile. This is a difficult challenge. Data center energy efficiency solutions span the spectrum from more efficient rack placement and alternative cooling methods to server and storage virtualization technologies. The SNIA’s Green Storage Initiative was formed to identify and promote energy efficiency solutions specifically relating to data storage.

This document is the first iteration of the SNIA GSI’s recommendations for maximizing utilization of data center storage assets while reducing overall power consumption. We plan to expand and update the content over time to include new energy-related storage technologies as well as SNIA-generated metrics for evaluating energy efficiency in
storage product selection.