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Green IT Survives The Recession, Will Green Storage?

I admit it, I was wrong. I assumed that green IT initiatives would be put on the back burner as we slogged our way through the current recession but according to a recent survey by Symantec apparently just the opposite is happening. Will green storage be a key part of the green IT effort?

The "Green IT Report" suggests that green is now an essential component in any technology decision making process. While most other aspects of the IT budget are flat or shrinking, 73% of those surveyed expect the green IT part of their budget to increase over the next 12 months. The key question is how does storage play into this?

Listening to storage vendors talk about how green their solutions are sometimes reminds me of an advanced version of fuzzy math. You'll hear talk about how because densities are higher, you'll need less drives and therefore their storage system is greener. They are right of course, but there is a hierarchy of greenness.

The ideal situation is off. Off is green, no math involved. This means that MAID (massive array of idle disks) based technology like those from Nexsan and Copan for disk, and dare I say it, tape.

There are a few other vendors just releasing power managed drives in their arrays, my concern is how they educate the user to structure their data layout to reach an optimum power efficiency level. After all if a MAID system powers on and off constantly it is likely to consume more power than a spinning disk so intelligence is required here. I think that over time manufacturers that have a finer grain of virtualization will have a key advantage here.

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