Increase Energy Efficiency Pressure Switch via Changes in Data Storage Methods

Many people don’t consider watching videos on YouTube, Google searching an interesting topic, or listening to their favorite track on iTunes as being energy hungry activities however, when one explores the data facilities that are required to allow such actions to occur, they may not be pleased by what they find.

The amount of energy consumed by IT installations, such as data centers, on an annual basis is absolutely astounding. Data centers in the United States consume 100 to 200 times more energy than office buildings, and are being constructed at an alarming rate in order to provide for the expansion of currently existing IT undertakings, and for developing sectors such cloud computing.

Data centers are generally comprised of basic components such as servers, power systems, cooling systems, and hard drives to store data. In many facilities, especially those belonging to large international companies such as Facebook, the amount of data stored is substantial, and often involves the utilization of a multitude of storage components such as servers and hard drives. These systems also generally have a high level of redundancy, which increases the amount of IT equipment required.

The Energy Inefficiency of Storing Large Volumes of Data

Storing data may not seem like an avenue of significant energy expenditure, however, in 2007 it was established that powering and cooling the worlds spinning disk drives was costing more than 1.3 billion dollars every year (Xyratex, 2008). This figure is only expected to rise as the demand for data storage continues to grow.

Companies are consequently beginning to realize that their current way of operating regarding data storage is unsustainable from both an economic and environmental point of view, owing mainly to the energy and cost involved with maintaining contemporary systems. Numerous techniques are therefore being trialed and developed to decrease the energy consumption of data storage within data centers.

Techniques for Increasing the Energy Efficiency of Data Storage

One of the obvious ways to decrease the energy consumption and related cost involved with data storage is to reduce the amount of data saved. This is especially relevant with regards to large scientific establishments, which store large amounts of no longer needed raw data for long periods. If data storage reduction is not possible however, businesses can instead look reducing the component redundancy within the system.

Pressure Switch, Servers and Power Systems

Many companies are afraid that they will lose data, and therefore implement a high level redundancy within their installation from equipment like a pressure switch or ground bars to the actual servers themselves. This basically comprises backup servers, power systems, cooling systems and hard drives. In many facilities this level of redundancy is not required, and only results in wasted energy. Installations should consequently focus upon right-sizing their data storage systems.

Facilities can also decrease data storage energy consumption by utilizing ‘green’ components such as ‘green servers’ within their facilities. These products are much more energy efficient then their predecessors and can result in significant energy savings.

It is consequently concluded that data storage within data centers is an expensive process, and is often not required on the level to which it is undertaken. In many data centers, it is believed that the amount of data stored could be reduced, in addition to the level of the redundancy within the system. If these actions were to be enforced, it is predicted that the amount of energy consumed by such installations would be greatly reduced.