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Power & Cooling Costs Top $1B Mark

The costs to businesses of powering and cooling their external storage reached a staggering $1 billion last year, according to research released today by analyst firm IDC.

Here’s the crux of the matter -- data center storage requirements are growing at about 55 percent a year, while hard disk drive capacities are growing at 30 to 35 percent a year,” explains IDC analyst David Reinsel, who wrote the research report. “This means that we’re putting an abundance of drives into the data center; we’re having to do a lot more work to cool them down.”

IDC estimates that with the average worldwide electricity cost of 7 cents per kilowatt-hour last year, the cost of powering and cooling these drives topped the $1 billion mark, a figure which could go though roof in the next few years.

Between 2008 and 2012, the storage industry will ship nearly eight times the amount of external storage that is currently sold, according to IDC.

“Kudos to the disk drive industry for making storage so cheap, but there’s a hidden cost behind the acquisition of these drives, and that’s the cost to power and cool them,” says Reinsel.

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