The Year of Green Storage - 14 Feb 2007

If you work in a data center, you're probably familiar with green storage: environmentally friendly storage, which uses less power and physical space than traditional storage. Gartner predicts green storage as the most highly hyped data storage trend for 2007. I talked to Pillar Data Systems' Russ Kennedy, senior director of marketing and strategy, and Chris Drago, director of worldwide PR, to learn more about why it's important for companies to start thinking about green storage.

Drago and Kennedy provided some astonishing statistics. In 2005, Gartner reported that $6 billion was spent powering data centers in the United States alone. Gartner also predicts that by the end of 2008, nearly 50 percent of data centers worldwide won't have sufficient power and cooling to support high-density equipment.

Kennedy and Drago stressed that companies need to more efficiently use their storage if they plan to continue operating successfully in the future. This means that companies will need to have flexible storage platforms and consolidate multiple storage platforms. "The proliferation of different boxes can't continue," says Kennedy. Related to consolidation are physical space limitations, which Pillar Data Systems asserts is one of the largest challenges facing IT professionals today, especially in densely populated regions. Insofar as companies' growing space needs and use of Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) storage tiers increase power consumption, these factors also drive the green storage movement.

Kennnedy and Drago's goal is to make green storage as simple as possible and to help users understand what efficiency is all about. For Pillar Data Systems, attaining this goal means maximizing application performance and data capacity with the most efficient use of floor space and power consumption. To determine the efficiency of Pillar Data Systems' storage products, the company uses the efficient quotient (EQ): capacity (GB) x performance (I/O operations per second--IOPS) / power (watts) x space (square meters). When Pillar Data Systems ran its EQ against some of its competitors' products, Pillar found that the EQ for its products was nearly twice as large as that of its competitors, meaning that Pillar Data Systems products had a high performance and capacity while consuming the lowest levels of energy and space. Pillar products' relatively high EQ stems largely from its ability to consolidate multiple applications and tiers of storage onto one platform. Additionally, the company is able to deliver multiple storage technologies such as Fibre Channel and Serial ATA (SATA) on one platform. Going forward, be sure to think about green storage, and talk with your vendors to help you determine how efficient your storage really is.

Is storage efficiency a concern in your organization? Does your company plan to address this issue in the next couple of years? Tell us your thoughts at our'>">our storage forum.

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