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Hot technologies for 2008

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Green storage
"Green is not a fad ... energy costs will exceed the purchase cost of a server in three years," says Bruce Taylor, chief strategist for energy efficiency and productivity initiatives at the Uptime Institute Inc., Santa Fe, NM. "Storage historically has been less of a problem, but as storage demand escalates, energy will become more of a problem there, too."

The storage industry has barely begun to think through the energy implications of storage or even ask some obvious questions. "Why keep platters spinning for data that is rarely if ever used? Why not shove it onto tape?" asks Taylor. To be green, IT must rethink its approach to data storage (see "Ways to reduce storage energy consumption," below).

Ways to reduce storage energy consumption
  • Switch to fewer disks with higher capacities
  • Use slower disks (7,200 rpm and 10,000 rpm)
  • Increase disk utilization
  • Reduce data volume through deduplication and compression
  • Move rarely accessed data to tape
  • Back up to

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  • tape, not disk
  • Virtualize and consolidate storage
  • Consider massive array of idle disks (MAID) systems for nearline archiving
Source: Stanley Zaffos, research VP, Gartner Inc.

When managers of the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP) at the University of California in San Francisco began planning a data center consolidation, they didn't have storage energy savings specifically in mind. Still, they saw opportunities.

This was first published in December 2007

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