The green data centre: Business best practices

Increase the energy efficiency of your green data centre by exploring green storage best practices, addressing power and cooling issues, and implementing massive array of idle disks (MAID) technology.

Creating a green data centre –- one that makes energy-efficient data storage technology purchases, reduces its data footprint and trims utility bills -- will be a top priority for many organisations in the New Year. While green storage can result in cost reductions, going green must not affect the performance and day-to-day operations of the data centre.

We've compiled our most recent business best practices on green storage and green data centres to provide you with needed technical advice and insight into how to save your organisation money without affecting performance. Check out the resources below for an explanation of green storage, how to cut power and cooling costs, ways to increase the energy efficiency of your data centre, how effectively leveraging MAID and MAID 2.0 technologies can cut your power consumption, and more.

Green storage explained
Storage growth in some parts of the UK, most notably parts of London, is highly constrained (in some cases blocked altogether) because there is simply no more electricity to be bought at any price. Storage managers must mitigate the rising cost of power and its availability with technologies and practices that can improve energy efficiency. This article explains the concept of green storage, examines issues arising in its deployment and considers the future of green storage practices.

Green storage essentials: Addressing power, cooling and space issues
With energy costs on the rise, storage admins are looking to green storage technologies to help run their data centres more efficiently. But you'll need a lot of planning, some time to learn a new set of metrics and some creative thinking to cut power and cooling costs and still provide the capacity the company wants. Storage vendors are well aware of this new exigency, preparing new enterprise data storage products or enhancing existing ones to help storage managers trim power consumption. This E-Guide will get you started or, if you're already in the midst of a power-pruning project, help you further along your way.

The state of MAID in data centres
Almost every storage vendor offers some form of disk slowdown functionality. But in general, disk spin-down technologies like massive array of idle disks (MAID) are getting less attention than say, data deduplication, which is all the rage. Some analysts say an increasing focus on energy conservation in data centres should shine more light on MAID, but adoption rates remain relatively flat. So what should storage managers know about MAID and other spin-down technologies?

Benefits and limitations of MAID storage: A step toward a green data centre
Storage vendors are increasingly offering MAID storage capabilities in their systems because of the green opportunities the technology presents. MAID technology ensures that only those disk drives that are actually in active use are spinning. Therefore, MAID significantly reduces power consumption and prolongs the lives of disk drives. In this podcast, Simon Johnson, data centre practice lead at GlassHouse Technologies, discusses the benefits and limitations of MAID, as well as MAID levels and how they operate.

Green storage best practices control costs, increase energy efficiency
A mixture of technologies and tactics to control data centre power and cooling costs can greatly increase an organisation's storage energy efficiency. But without implementing green storage best practices, simply utilising new technologies will only go so far. This tip examines some green storage best practices to follow, including avoiding overprovisioning, revisiting your tiering strategy and RAID policies, consolidating arrays, leveraging MAID and more.

Green storage product roundup
Disk arrays are the bane of green storage. Few make any claim to be doing anything about the fundamental fact that spinning disks means using power. Most vendors, however, place the emphasis on techniques that improve storage utilisation, such as information lifecycle management (ILM), virtualisation and thin provisioning. Learn how disk arrays, tape and switches translate to the world of green storage.

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