Data Center Storage Efficiency Series

How To Increase Data Storage Efficiency

Due to the highly complexity of data center infrastructure, there are many opportunities to conserve power, reduce cooling needs and save money. Data centers can apply a combination of the following storage efficiency practices: Data Reduction, Deduplication, Compression, Snapshots, and Tiered Storage.

Data Reduction
It’s simple–less data needing to be stored and accessed means less power needed to run the system. The most effective way in reducing data storage amounts is deleting unnecessary data. This can be done by implementing user best practices to delete local files, as well as setting up automated data retention to delete or copy data based on sets of criteria.

Deduplication
Another way to reduce data is by data deduplication, the practice of removing redundant files. Most storage backup and archiving software vendors have useful deduplication features. It’s simple and effective to set a data deduplication schedule.

Compression
Data deduplication eliminates redundant data, while compression reduces the size of data. Wired Media group defines data compression as “the process that is used to reduce large data files into smaller files so that they use less bandwidth during transmission and less disk space when stored.” This should be done in conjunction with data deduplication efforts.

Snapshots
According to SearchStorage.com, a storage snapshot is a set of reference markers, or pointers, to data stored on a disk drive, a tape, or in a storage area network (SAN). A snapshot is something like a detailed table of contents, but it is treated by the computer as a complete data backup. Snapshots streamline access to stored data and can speed up the process of data recovery, therefore saving energy.

Tiered Storage Infrastructure
It is important to assign data to different storage tiers based on data characteristics. For example, critical data should be stored on high-end, high-rpm storage drives for fast accessibility. Non-critical data should be stored on different tier low-end, low-rpm drives. Archiving data onto tape using a tape cartridge is also extremely energy-efficient, and when at rest uses no energy at all. This is the reason a tiered storage infrastructure has been found to dramatically reduce power consumption and costs.

Data Center Design for Increased Efficiency
In creating an efficient data center, pay special attention to the space and design as well as implementing the right technologies. The success of a data center design is realized through the long-term scalability, flexibility and availability of the facility.

Best Practices For Designing Your Data center
To help optimize network performance, create operational efficiency, achieve optimal availability and produce cost savings we suggest:

– The data center design should be flexible, adaptable and agile. The facility and technologies should be ready to change and align with future business objectives and requirements.

– Data center design should emphasize appropriately right-sizing IT equipment to support cabling, power, and cooling infrastructures.

– Data centers should be designed to anticipate next-generation equipment, which is likely to have even-higher power, cooling, and cabling requirements. This will help avoid the cost and disruption of frequent technology refreshes and additional infrastructure.

– It is important to provide adequate, scalable power for the load. Comprehensive load analysis can produce a reasonable estimate of the facility’s power requirements.

– “Going green” is not only sustainable, but makes good business sense, especially when it involves simple techniques such as using outside air for cooling. That can save significant amounts of money over time.

– Data centers should be equipped with intelligent monitoring. When evaluating monitoring systems, look for solutions that have intuitive alarming, reporting and escalation features.

That wraps up the Data Center Efficiency Series. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions that you may have!

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