Storage Optimization

Greening storage

Posted in File Systems,Storage by storageoptimization on May 1, 2008

The New York Times Bits blog has a post on the need to green Internet and other data centers, “Data Centers are Becoming Big Polluters.” Citing a study by McKinsey & Company, Bits’ Steve Lohr states that data centers are “projected to surpass the airline industry as a greenhouse gas polluter by 2020.”

He goes on to sum up the report, which “also lists 10 ‘game-changing improvements’ intended to double data center efficiency, ranging from using virtualization software to integrated control of cooling units.”

Many of us are aware that server virtualization is the path to increasing server utilization. But servers are only half of the data center picture. The other half is storage. The solution for that? Storage optimization.

Just as server virtualization lets you turn 10 physical servers in to 10 virtual servers and then consolidate them on to one physical machine, storage optimization lets you store 10 times more files on a given disk than you can today. The heat, cooling, rackspace, and power benefits are obvious.

Update: Ben Worthen at the Wall Street Journal is also discussing this on the Business Technology Blog. His post, “Can the Tech Guy Afford to Care about Pollution?” also talks about how the problem will only get worse in the future. Worthen’s take: “Given that most of the tech departments we talk to are looking to cut costs, they’re not likely to invest in new technology that will cut emissions, unless it cuts short-term costs at the same time.”


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