Chapter 11. Building a Green Storage System

In This Chapter

  • Exploring green storage

  • Cutting the fat with thin provisioning and data deduplication

  • Backing up more with less

Storage systems are among the most conspicuous consumers of power and cooling in the data center. Imagine racks filled with as many as 100 hard drives and you begin to see the problem. To be usable for data storage, drives must be fully powered and running.

Storage manufacturers are working on ways to reduce the amount of power and cooling required by redesigning storage systems and by managing the use of storage capacity more carefully. However, every year "knowledge workers" — you know, the kind of folks who use computers to create documents such as or reports, spreadsheets, or PowerPoint presentations or just sit around sending e-mail — create more stuff that has to get stored. And now in many places there are laws or at least policies requiring that each and every e-mail be "archived" — that is, kept around for posterity or in the event that they're required in a lawsuit. The kinds of files getting created are getting bigger too. Video files, for example, take up huge chunks of storage, and their usage in every day business is growing by leaps and bounds.

Because of the way storage has been used in recent years, there's a lot of room for improvement. Manufacturers and consumers are looking for ways to use available capacity more fully and to apply new storage techniques to reduce overall consumption.

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