As evidenced by Lucas Mearian from ComputerWorld’s recent article, “Better storage tech could trim energy, cooling costs” – enterprise storage is working diligently to do its part to become more energy efficient, reducing our carbon footprint for a better world for our children, grandchildren and the generations that follow.
With my responsibilities at Seagate focused on the nearline or capacity-optimized segment of the enterprise business, I am continually focused on the need for even higher capacities while driving the drive’s power consumption even lower.
As Lucas points out, “While technologies such as data deduplication and thin provisioning are most effective when first deployed, migrating to components that consume less power, and generate less heat, offers important energy savings over the long term.”
Here are a few tips that can help you improve your energy savings today.
1) Move from 3.5-inch drives to 2.5-inch drives. You’ll save up to 70% in power consumption while providing better cooling within your storage sub-system and can save more than 100% in physical space. (Some systems today support either (12) 3.5-inch drives or (25) 2.5-inch drives.
2) Deploy Seagate’s PowerChoice™ on-demand power savings option. This feature, based on a T10 standard and in development by most hard drive manufacturers, allows you to automatically (at your discretion) reduce the power consumption of the drive during idle times. For more details, read this technology paper with it’s implementation guidelines.
In response to Lucas’ statement “Key among lower-power consuming technologies has been serial ATA (SATA) drives, which typically spin at 5,400rpm or 7,200rpm, but have twice the data storage capacity as their high-performance counterparts”, this is incorrect. Seagate offers both SATA & SAS drives with the same high capacities — and they each fit a particular need.
On average, we only see a single watt difference between SATA and SAS drives – barely worth a power savings discussion. More importantly, this interface decision should be predicated on the performance and data integrity needs of the application you are serving. With SAS, you get a performance bump on average of 135% over SATA due to its full duplex, bidirectional I/O capabilities, superior data integrity with its full read and write error correction and detection (IOECC/IOEDC) and better scalability with its’ multi-host support for larger configurations ensuring long term sustainability. Consider SAS and you’ll be safeguarding your data while enjoying the optimum in performance.