Eighty-eight percent of North American IT departments say storage vendors should be doing more to improve the energy efficiency of their products, according to a survey of IT executives. And 60 percent said their own organizations were interested in finding more energy efficient ways of managing data storage resources.
The survey of 324 North American IT executives, part of BridgeHead Software’s annual Information Lifecycle Management Audit, reveals a greater demand for greener products from vendors, but also hints at a nagging feeling among organizations that they themselves are not doing enough in this area – 74 percent said they felt better management of their storage resources could reduce energy consumption.
In North America, concern over power costs (67 percent) was the most common reason organizations gave for wanting to improve the energy efficiency of their storage. Second was concern over power capacity issues (59 percent), followed by environmental concerns (35 percent). In the UK the reasons were power costs (73 percent) and environmental concerns (57 percent), with power capacity coming last at 35 percent.
“There is nothing wrong with demanding more energy efficient solutions from vendors, but many organizations could improve energy efficiency by cutting the data they hold on spinning disk,” said Patrick Dowling, senior vice president of marketing, BridgeHead Software. “Sixty-one percent of organizations in our survey said that between 30 and 50 percent of data on their primary disk is unlikely to be accessed ever again. While they may need to keep this data for legal or regulatory reasons, they can save power by moving it off to tape, optical disk, removable disk or other systems, which do not consume power unless being accessed. Organizations should be defining and implementing archiving rules to move old or infrequently accessed data off of primary storage.”
BridgeHead’s research reveals that many organizations are starting to use archiving for specific types of data such as emails, motivated by compliance and disaster recovery concerns, but few organizations are archiving for energy efficiency or cost considerations. And a lot of archiving activity is currently championed by finance and other business departments outside of IT’s control. But to really get the major green benefits of an archiving strategy, BridgeHead believes there needs to be an IT-driven move away from point solutions or isolated archive appliances toward an enterprise-wide approach, managing archiving of all data types across the whole organization.
“Only when you start taking an enterprise-wide approach to archiving, will the volume of data you’re taking off the primary store, make a real difference in terms of energy savings,” said Dowling.