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September 07, 2007

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Dick Sullivan

You make some good points and I agree with you. I am not intending to oversimplify things. And especially I am not recommneding that a mission critical application like an Oracle DB be run on slow SATA drives. However there are still some very large fibre channel drives that will help with the energy issues and still provide appropriate performance and reliability.

The key here is to choose the appropriate service level for the application. If that means 73GB 15K drives then so be it. But consideration of test dev using 300GB 15k drives is also worth considering. The key thing is to think about it, especially if you have an energy crunch.

Daniel J. Sullivan

I appreciate your way of amplifying the importance of the issue for the "common man". In your example, you reference storage amounts that aren't that far off from what the average personal computer user employs - multiplied by a power of ten.

That's a fig-ton of electricity (which equals cash, if that's a better incentive than environmental preservation) at any magnitude.

The question is: will organizations heed your message before they are forced to adhere to strict energy conservation policies as a result of massive energy shortages and skyrocketing prices? Or will this mirror the fossil fuel crisis when there were only a few wackos driving electric cars ten years ago when gas was relatively cheap? Now every major automobile company is mass-producing a "green" vehicle. Not because they've suddenly developed an unbridled love of nature, but because their technology has become cost-effective enough to convince people that they'll save money at the pump while saving the trees.

The key is helping people to recognize that the future is now in regard to affordable, energy-efficient mass network storage. The technology exists, and storage facilities need to jump on the bandwagon before shortages and high costs leave them in the dust.

Open Systems Guy

If only it were that easy! When you say not to complicate this, you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater- the bathwater being unnecessary complications, and the baby being unavoidable complications.

If you were to embark on a crusade to move my critical oracle database to a greener platform, my management would probably listen to you. If the first thing you said was to forget about the spindle/GB ratio and go SATA, you would quickly be escorted from the office.

The real gap here is that everyone seems to think SATA is a green alternative to high spindle speed, lower density storage, but the reality is that SATA's lower power requirements and lower cost come at price- the drives are not always usable. In fact, most companies who have enough critical and high performance applications to be worried about the amount of energy their disks take probably can't afford to use SATA for these applications.

Going green is important, but I wouldn't advocate using insufficient technology- instead, advocate trying to do the same job with the same SLA on a thinner power/cooling envelope. I would focus on water cooling, efficient power supplies, and allocating lower performance and lower power/cooling envelope disk where it is appropriate (like in archives, backup disk pools, and for low tier data).

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Notes

  • by Dick Sullivan
    Dick is an IT marketing and services veteran. He devotes considerable time to observing and commenting upon business and IT trends. He is particularly interested in how developing technologies impact business developments, partner strategies and the evolution of related market opportunities. Dick and his wife Barbara live in Hingham Massachusetts. They have two sons, one a college junior, the other New England Area Sales Manager for Medical Lasers. This is a personal blog and has not been screened by others in any way.

Notes

  • by Dick Sullivan
    Dick is an IT marketing and services veteran. He devotes considerable time to observing and commenting upon business and IT trends. He is particularly interested in how developing technologies impact business developments, partner strategies and the evolution of related market opportunities. Dick and his wife Barbara live in Hingham Massachusetts. They have two sons, one a college junior, the other New England Area Sales Manager for Medical Lasers. This is a personal blog and has not been screened by others in any way.

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