Green Storage: The Big Picture (2009)

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Publish Date: 
Monday, October 12, 2009
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Abstract: 

“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