Environnemental Focus on Storage Environmentals
by David Merrill on Jul 11, 2012
Last month I posted a couple of blogs on power efficiencies and tactics to reduce storage power consumption. There is plenty evidence that data and storage growth will continue to put pressures on power consumption and power costs.
- Annual growth rate of 30% for structured and over 80% for unstructured is forecast for the next few years
- Without a fundamental change in storage architectures, an unsustainable rate of growth in power and cooling will put pressure on current data center facilities
- Countries with carbon limits or tariffs will be the first to enact new systems and controls to limit power growth
- Countries like Australia and the Philippines are seeing a 17-20% annual increase in the wholesale cost of power
- Power rates by 2020 will be 120% higher than they are today, and by 2030 that number could be 215%
- Estimates differ across the board, but conservative estimates have storage responsible for 40-60% of data center power and cooling consumption
- Storage virtualization can and does have the same impact to power as has been seen in server virtualization, but adoption rates are lower than servers
Clearly, the rate of growth with data growth is unsustainable for comparable increases in power/cooling consumption. New architectures such as virtualization, over-provisioning, data tiering, data archive and new retention policies have to be considered to combat power consumption growth.
I suggest creating econometrics to track the unit cost of storage environmental as a percent of the storage TCO. Further metrics can be introduced to measure kwatt per TB or BTU per TB for the current and future storage infrastructures. With these kinds of metrics in place, the environmental impact of storage architectures can be tracked and held accountable. Environmental sustainability needs to be a concern not just for a few, but for architects and planners that can influence and recommend new courses for growth.