Greening of Storage
Moore said data deduplication is an important practice in reducing storage needs. Deduplication involves scouring data for redundant instances and eliminating them, thus cutting storage needs for the same data by 50 percent or more, depending on the number of redundant instances. In the eWEEK survey, data deduplication was targeted by 46 percent of respondents overall, who said they were implementing or planning to implement the practice. Respondents with a green IT initiative under way were taking greater advantage of the procedure, with 79 percent either deploying or evaluating data deduplication.The eWEEK survey revealed that, among respondents whose companies have a green initiative under way, less than half-41 percent-are motivated primarily by environmental concerns, while only 30 percent said economic considerations were the most important factor. That flies in the face of what many analysts, including Gartner's Mingay, say-that economic savings are really the primary driver for green IT initiatives. Seasoning the mix with a dash of ambivalence, only 26 percent of respondents with green IT initiatives actually have designated a specific budget for green technologies-the rest, presumably, implement their green IT strategies through regular budget items. The survey also found there is still something of a disconnect between the belief that IT energy consumption creates an environmental impact and the influence of environmental concerns over green IT purchasing decisions. For example, when asked whether they consider the power consumed by computer equipment important enough to constitute a significant environmental issue, 61 percent of all respondents said yes. In contrast, when asked to what extent environmental impact is part of their company's technology RFP (request for proposal) or evaluation process, 74 percent of respondents said it was slightly important or not important at all. Such responses indicate that IT pros recognize the environmental impact of IT activities but that the green bottom line for businesses is just that-the bottom line. Most businesses aren't about to spend more money than they have to for eco-friendly IT measures. They will do so only if the payback is there-if the green of dollar savings matches the green of environmental benefit.
Other storage measures often used in the name of going green (or with green benefits) include thin storage provisioning and dynamic capacity management. Both of these techniques allow a customer to purchase a disk drive array with the capacity to handle future needs, but to fire up that capacity only as needed. Moore said it's possible to save 45 percent if data deduplication, thin provisioning and dynamic capacity management are all implemented.