While I agree with George Crump’s recent blog that SSDs do offer a low power option for the high performance tier in the data center, enterprise hard drives for bulk storage are offering advanced power saving options that offer a much better $/GB than SSDs today. Hard drives using the load/unload architecture provide programmable power management to tailor systems for performance and greater energy efficiency.
As George mentions, tiering storage is an excellent way to save money and energy. Check out this post on Compellent’s automated tiered storage solution. By moving data to lower cost 7200-RPM 3.5-inch nearline drives, you can save up to 32% in power consumption per drive.
But, the real savings kicker comes in when you move from 3.5-inch HDDs to 2.5-inch, 15mm drives. The Seagate Constellation 2.5-inch nearline drive (500GB) is the lowest power consuming enterprise drive at 2.9 watts (idle). By moving to 2.5-inch, you’ll save up to 64% over the same capacity 3.5-inch nearline drive. And no worries about capacity limitations either. Over the last year, 2.5-inch storage capacities have increased to where they are nearly on par with 3.5-inch drives. Seagate’s Savvio 10K.4 touts a whopping 600GB while consuming 35% less power than the same capacity 3.5-inch tier 1 drive.