Although Servers consume a majority (approximately 50 percent ) of the data centre power, storage is not far behind, guzzling approximately 13 – 27 percent. Storage requirements in most data centers are growing at 50 -100 percent year-on-year, and due to higher rack densities, a rack of storage uses up to 10 times the power it did just a few years ago. Considering these facts, greening storage through various energy saving storage technologies could reduce energy bills dramatically.
In the Middle East there is another major issue looming – many power-generating authorities are struggling to keep pace with increasing power requirements, further impacting the data centre. For example, several of our enterprise customers have requested ISIT to provide storage technologies that are designed to standards defined by the Green Grid consortium, which helps to address the lack of power from the providers. In a similar context, physical space and cooling in the datacentre is also a major consideration addressed by these green standards.
We’ve come up with the following 10 recommendations for a greener data centre.
10 strategies for a green data centre
1.Replace old disk arrays and drives with more energy efficient higher capacity arrays and drives. In one case 11 old disk arrays were replaced with one new disk array resulting in 81% less power, 93% less space, 16% higher capacity, Reduced complexity, Lower management costs
2. Consolidate storage. In one example 10’s of file servers across multiple locations were consolidated into one Enterprise class NAS at the main data center with branches accessing this central NAS using wan and application optimization technologies
3.Improve storage utilization with thin provisioning and Storage virtualization. In some cases using thin provisioning we have found storage utilization improve from about 40% on an average to more than 80 %. In addition to this, Storage virtualization could be used to improve utilization further, especially across multiple disk arrays.
4. Use Solid State Disks instead of FC disks to improve throughput and reduce latency. In some cases it also reduces power consumption even up to 95% of comparable FC disks. It also results in consi derable space saving
5.DataDeduplication/ Capacity optimization. Using these technologies we have seen 20X to 30X disk capacity savings. You could uses these technologies right across multiple tiers of storage. Example primary storage, secondary storage, backups and archives
6. Use High capacity Tape technology. Tape is a zero power media and when it comes to greening storage, tape is a major value add
7. Data classification and Migration from high power consumption storage to lower ones (for example FC to SATA and then to tape. In some cases SATA drives consume half the power of comparable FC drives) Data classification also helps to identify and eliminate duplicate data, orphaned data, unwanted data and data that is stored against corporate policy.
8. Use Flexible clones/snap shots . This capability makes it possible to allocate many individual, writable copies of data in a fraction of the space that would typically be required. For example a Single SnapShot of your primary data, copy that for your DR, Backup and Compliance, and all of the other copies (copies for test and dev, decision support etc) are virtual clones of that original resulting in tremendous space savings.
9. Use data protection technologies like dual parity RAID. This enables you to protect against disk failures using fewer drives. For example compared to RAID 10 which has 50% efficiency, Double Parity Raid has 86% efficiency. Since Servers consume a major part of the total energy consumption in data centres and the fact that most of the servers are underutilized.
10. Since servers consume a major part of the total energy consumption in data centres, and most servers are underutilized, we would also strongly recommend server virtualisation. This can drive up server utilisation from an average of 5- 15 percent to about 80 %. In one particular example, approximately 100 servers were consolidated into just 10, having a major impact of power consumption