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The Green Monster

Managing and protecting stored data demands expertise in security, compliance, and storage technology. Now the job is demanding that managers meet yet another multilayered challenge the environment.

This topic encompasses a range of issues, from the electrical power required to run today's data centers, to the physical composition of machinery and the best way to dispose of it.

The environment could become as big an issue as compliance for many ITers — in effect, a green monster.

In Europe, for instance, the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) directive, instituted last year, includes penalties like fines and jail time for companies that fail to manufacture or use hardware that is free of toxic substances, such as lead and mercury. (See The Green Machine Challenge.)

Experts say it's just a matter of time before the U.S. launches similar mandates. Most big storage suppliers are already on board, forced to get with the ROHS program or lose sales in Europe.

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