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Power Savings Adds to Hitachi Green

by Hu Yoshida on Sep 24, 2007

Today, Hitachi Data Systems announced a new Power Savings Services feature for the AMS and WMS modular storage families. This Power Savings feature allows customers to power down RAID group volumes when not being accessed by a business application. These volumes can be quickly powered back up again when required. This feature should appeal to customers with volumes where the data is accessed infrequently or for a limited period of time. The feature is also very useful for volumes assigned for backups or for disk capacity that has been installed but not yet allocated. Power Savings significantly reduces the number of KWH (kilowatt hours) a storage array consumes and also contributes to reducing cooling costs within a data center. This Power Savings feature is available on Fibre Channel and SATA disk drives and will be available on all Adaptable and Workgroup Modular Storage products.

Many storage companies are focusing their “green” messaging around the use of slower, larger capacity, SATA, disks which contain more capacity per watt than higher performance FC disks. Some companies also claim the ability to power down the SATA disks in what is described as a Massive Array of Idle Disks, or MAID. All these ” green” approaches depend on one tier of large capacity SATA disks, and do not provide a way to non-disruptively move data to and from this tier without disruption to the application. While MAID systems can power down the disks, they limit the number of disks that can be spinning at any time and therefore limit the options for when or how to deploy the storage.

Hitachi’s Power Savings Services feature can apply to any RAID array group in current AMS or WMS storage systems whether it is a high performance FC array group or a large capacity SATA array group, and there is no limitation on the total number of spinning disks. A Power Savings array group can be re-provisioned as a normal spinning array group and vice versa. While the WMS storage supports only SATA disks, the AMS modular storage system can support FC and SATA array groups in the same system and can move the data between array group tiers without disruption to the application. Storage users do not have to limit their options for “green” to static tiers of slow SATA disks or to a limited number of spinning disks. The Enterprise class USP storage system can attach the AMS and WMS storage systems as lower cost tiers of storage and move the data non disruptively using Shadow Image copies or based on policies through the Tiered Storage Manager. Once the data is moved to the AMS or WMS array, we now have the additional option of powering down the volume based upon its activity.

While powering down idle disks will save power and cooling costs, we believe that “green” goes beyond the use of fat disks and power down. “Green” is about:

  • Increasing utilization through virtualization, tiered storage, and thin provisioning
  • Reducing data capacity requirements through compression, and deduplication
  • Reducing redundancies through RAID 5, copy on write, single instance store, and replication technologies that do not require business continuance volumes
  • Reduce the working set of data through archiving to a common active archive
  • Reduce the lead time capacity buffer required for acquiring new storage by virtualizing the migration process.

Green is all about increasing efficiencies and eliminating redundancies.

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Comments (2 )

Dave Vellante on 25 Sep 2007 at 6:57 am

The biggest issue I hear from storage admins about powering down/powering up drives is the potential for data corruption and reliability problems. ‘Disk drives weren’t meant to be powered down and up and down’ I’m told. But the PC industry has over fifteen years of experience in power saving technology approaches like spinning down/up drives in laptops. It’s good to see a leading storage company step up and stand behind such an approach.

As we all know, the #1 power culprit for big storage is disk devices– it’s 60% of the problem:

Jacking device capacities and creating a power consumed per GB metric is illusory and doesn’t address the problem directly. This does, especially in backup and archiving applications.


camille on 05 Oct 2007 at 11:53 am

I am curious, why would I choose your products over the others? I mean you know, they also offer RAID..

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