Vendors push green message at Storage Expo

Vendors push green message at Storage Expo

Delegates offered practical tips on reducing their organisations’ power consumption.

At this week’s Storage Expo show at London Olympia, IBM’s storage specialist Guy England shared green tips with delegates, aimed at helping IT managers reduce their organisations’ power consumption.

The first point raised was the need to manage data efficiently. Organisations need to catalogue the information they require, use tools to de-duplicate data and employ compression techniques in order to avoid unnecessary hardware cooling requirements, England advised. The design of data centre buildings should also be adapted to reduce power consumption and organisations need to ensure cooling units are efficient, he added.

For every pound spent on computer hardware, 50 pence is spent on cooling, England said. By 2010, this is expected to increase to 71 pence in a pound, he added.

Virtualisation was another “must” England listed for firms wanting to go green. Every application typically needs its own resources but if it is not using them, other applications should be, he noted.

Also, IT departments need to employ storage facilities according to their individual requirements, England said. “When a business does not need quick access to information, the disk rpm can be reduced,” England added.

“Keep technology current,” was the final green tip England gave. Although organisations tend to refresh technology every five years because this is their typical cycle, the increasing density of information stored means technology needs to actually be refreshed every three years, England said.

This May, IBM undertook a massive server consolidation project, reducing the number of Linux servers from 4,000 to 30. England advised firms to address server consolidation before tackling storage projects when looking to decrease their environmental impact.

Many other vendors exhibiting at this year’s Storage Expo were keen to push the green IT message, including Copan Systems, which launched its first enterprise-class data de-duplication offering. Mick Bradley, vice president of the firm, said that the high storage density the product can deliver would allow for a five times reduction in floor space needed, while each frame only produces 2.7kg/CO2.