‘All the power, without all the power’: storage innovations will win data centre power struggle

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The increase in demand for data centre performance will be a catalyst in mass market demand for fledgling storage technologies that consume less power at a lower total cost of ownership, claims Brian Feller, VP and General Manager EMEA of WHIPTAIL.

Feller’s comments follow the publication of BroadGroup’s Datacentres Europe IV report, which found that power shortages, rather than space, would be the primary challenge for the region’s biggest data centres over the next three years. Feller agrees with the consulting group that data-hungry, growing markets, such as media, will catapult data centres into new markets, and newer technologies driven by developments in silicon storage could be the ‘Nirvana’ in tackling the power problem.

Feller said: “The continued hard-drive storage array sprawl has pushed budgets and total cost of ownership to the limit. Silicon-based enterprise arrays offer a totally new paradigm shift in cost per input/output per second, and cost per kilowatt – in many cases offering 90 per cent savings on storage versus the status quo.

“The corporate data centre is fast becoming the core to a business’s operations, and the perfect market for these storage technologies. MLC flash is one such development that has bridged the gap between price and capacity, making it affordable for organisations,” stated Feller.

“The market is now recognising that it is more expensive – and less viable in the long-term – to continue with hard disk storage in the big data centres. To push these spinning disks to their limits will exacerbate the expensive power problem. If they stay as they are, they’re in a no-win situation,” he said.

He concluded: “Traditional storage has a very limited future in high-performance applications such as virtualised server environments, a trend that is rocketing particularly in Northern Europe. It’s no good for the environment and no good for the corporate wallet.”