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Investing in smart storage can be an unexpected cost saver

While the high tech world buzzes with non stop talk about virtualization and other power monitoring technologies to increase data center efficiency, improvement in basic storage can go a long way to green up your facility. On an average 10 to 40 percent of energy cost in data centers is used to run storage. Yes, managing storage can be expensive especially in a situation like data centers which struggles to cope with excess of data resulting from global initiatives, web commerce, rapidly enhanced computing expectations and security pressures. If businesses do not address their storage budget issues and reduce their data footprint, the problem is likely to blow out of proportion in this era of faster, more ever increasing computing. To keep up with this massive growth, organizations must look at smart storage capacity solutions.

SNIA, Storage Networking Industry Association is a non profit association made up of about 400 companies dedicated to knowledge exchange of end-to-end storage solutions and development of standards in information management products. Some of the energy efficient storage solutions that it recommends are  thin provisioning, multi-use backup, virtual clones, de-duplication, compression, using RAID 5 or RAID 6 disk arrays instead of the higher-level standards and smarter coupling of technology and the actual needs.

Most industry experts recommend against indulging in highest grade equipment and to stick  to what is actually required instead. Multi purpose, elaborate storage solutions not only cost more but most of the times you may not even be in need of them. So you might be powering them for doing things that you may not even need. So stick with RAID 5 if that’s all you will be using. While Solid State Disk translates to an enhanced performance level, it also costs an arm and a leg. So data that is not critical can be allocated to lower cost tiers and primary storage. Sometimes storage solutions come with automated management software to give information on how much of solid state disk you need to optimize your application. Virtualization of your storage also can go a long way in helping with storage consolidation by providing better storage distribution among servers and reducing hardware requirements. Vendors that provide server virtualization often offer tools to improve the management of storage as well.

The latest buzz in the storage world is data de-duplication also called single instance storage. It significantly reduces the amount of physical disk space needed for backup and other archival functions by configuring data processing and storage functions in a way that removes redundant files, bytes, or blocks of data. It thereby makes sure that only unique data is stored on disks and eliminates redundant files.

The other popular storage solution is thin provisioning which doles out on-demand shared storage to servers instead of allocating tens or hundreds of gigabytes in advance based on anticipated demand which may go unused while consuming a lot of energy. Provisioning helps in cost reduction as it costs less to provide power to one drive loaded to capacity than a number of them each storing a fraction of their capacity.

Please contact us at Green Rack Systems for updating your storage solutions and to reduce your energy bills in the bargain.

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Lavenya Dilip was responsible for Marketing at Green Rack Systems.

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