How can RAID address green IT issues and power and cooling challenges?

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RAID is a tool. It's one of several tools that you should have in your 'green toolbox' or your power and cooling toolbox, if you will. RAID comes into play when dealing with data that isn't frequently accessed. Going to a RAID 5 or a RAID 6 scheme in which you can reduce the number of drives compared to RAID 1. By reducing the number of drives, you can avoid some power consumption.

RAID 1 has more drives running, so you are going to use more power. But, you have to take a look at the application. If the application requires performance, you have to factor in the cost of energy to get the work done. For nearline storage or offline storage, that's where you want to try to reduce power consumption. If the primary concern is performance, RAID 1 uses more power, but it also gets the work done faster, so it's a balancing act.

Check out the entire RAID FAQ guide.

This was first published in November 2007

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