Data centers require huge amounts of electricity to keep all those servers and disk arrays cool and as we become more and more of a data-driven society, those energy costs will continue to rise. Along with energy costs, it’s also important to take into account the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced and left in the atmosphere from such energy inefficiencies.
While homeowners are working to curb their own energy use by changing to energy-efficient light bulbs, monitoring their energy use through smart meters and sometimes even installing renewable energy sources like solar, its seems IT professionals continue to fill more and more disk arrays with data. Data storage systems centers are said to account for 1.5 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. And with disk arrays are offering more and more data space, it is easy to forget about how much energy it takes to keep all that storage secure.
Despite this, there are things that can be done at the data storage level to help reduce the amounts of energy and by default carbon dioxide that is created in the atmosphere by all of these fossil fuels being used. To date, most of the effort to “green” the data industry has come from efforts to lessen the amount of data stored, especially from deduplication and compression. There are, however, products on the market that have been shown to reduce the amount of energy savings by focusing on the devices.
Companies like Nexsan have used AutoMAID technology, which stands Automatic Massive Array of Idle Disks to save energy. The technology can turn on or off energy savings by putting the various disk drives to sleep when not needed. Nexsan’s version provides updated technologies that allow for energy savings, along with performance. Studies have shown that using and ordinary disk array can use as much as 480 percent more energy than the disk array with the AutoMAID features, that also translates to huge cost savings in terms of energy.
But fixing one issue such as high-energy disk arrays isn’t the only solution to creating data canters that require less energy and therefore produce less carbon emissions. Becoming more green will take three different strategies including: focusing on inefficient devices, focusing on the capacity that is added because of inefficient management and the additional space that is needed because of inefficient packing. Along with these issues, the need to provide more consolidation and virtualization will be needed to curb the overwhelming appetite of data centers. Virtualization is considered green because it allows consolidation through the use of less hardware, therefore using less energy for the server.
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