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Is that related to Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment)? That is a great question… to which providing an answer requires a bit of understanding and highly technological product enhancements. By Jean-François Marie, SNIA Europe, France country committee chair, NetApp.


Date: 1 Sep 2010

 I believe the trends and challenges of Green IT today are:

  • The #1 driver is to reduce operating expense 
  • “Doing the right thing for the environment” is a top motivator - and the escalating cost of energy place “GreenIT” as one of the top agenda items for IT
  • Growth and new technology demand more power and space – creating tensions between Business and IT functions
  • IT departments need to innovate to balance all of these challenges and deliver value to the business
  • Innovation through data and storage management; space and energy management

Thus, the green data center has moved from the theoretical to the realistic, with IT leaders being challenged to construct new data centers (or retrofit existing ones) with energy saving features, sustainable materials, and other environmental efficiencies in mind.

Storage efficiency demands a large spectrum of expertise for it is comprised of a lot of highly technical components.  Many areas may be touched in parallel to drive to the road of what can be named green storage. Those areas are: high-efficiency power supplies, high-capacity disk drives, advanced RAID techniques, standby and spin-down, modes, flash drives, thin provisioning, virtualization, writable snapshots, data deduplication, and finally data compression.

But that is not enough!   Human behavior is the key… and it is not just a matter of technology maturity to address energy efficiency. Having the right tool in hand is important, but also its how you utilize that tool.  Training and education are key in maximizing efficiency and simultaneously maintaining the integrity of the data center infrastructure.

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) works closely with government agencies, and plays a very important role in the industry education about the technology, and has concentrated its efforts via SNIA’s Green Storage Initiative.

The SNIA’s Green Storage Initiative (GSI) is comprised of a large number of top industry storage system and component manufacturers representing all categories of storage solutions.

The initiative is committed to:

  • Educating the user and vendor communities about the importance of power conservation and environmental sustainability in shared storage environments
  • Formulating and publicizing best practices for energy efficient storage networking
  • Promoting storage-centric applications that reduce the storage footprint and associated power requirements.
  • Then, it is easy to understand that going to what we call the Green Data Center is a group effort. The SNIA is active and is engaged collaborates with the following organizations:

Joint work with Environmental Protection Agency

  • Data Collection Process, Data Collection and Analysis
  • SNIA Dictionary Green Terms for DataCenter Storage EnergyStar Specification

Joint work with ClimateSavers/80Plus/EPRI

  • Storage Power supply efficiency testing and test protocol validation

Expanded Alliances

  • The Green Grid in Europe and Japan, with SNIA Europe and Japan
  • European Union Data Centre Code of Conduct, Endorser member

In addition to SNIA Tutorials on Green Storage and Energy Efficiency are being delivered globally.

And I cannot agree more with one of the EPA conclusions “There are numerous product features, functions, and data management strategies that enable energy savings in data center storage. There is only one end result that matters: the ability to do more useful work, while consuming fewer resources, in a verifiable and quantifiable manner”. Taking the green way is a great engineering problem to be solved, it saves money, and helps save the planet.

So get involved with SNIA Green efforts in joining the SNIA Green Storage Initiative

Learn about wider green technology and opportunities with our online resources.


Tags: Data Centres

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