Data centers powering today’s digital landscape require massive amounts of energy to operate which creates substantial environmental impact and cost impediments for organizations. According to estimates, data storage and transmission to and from data centers consume about 1% of the world’s electricity. This is driving organizations to explore solutions to optimize energy efficiency and reduce power consumption in data centers without sacrificing performance and reliability. But this is easier said than done.
Let’s take the case of on-premises secondary storage where a significant portion of data comprises inactive or cold data that needs to be stored and preserved for extended periods of time. Typically, an active archive keeps all storage online for on-demand data access. But, for redundant data and content that is not accessed frequently, it may not be necessary to keep the entire storage infrastructure online all the time. If IT administrators could spin down disks as needed, they could reduce energy consumption, lower carbon footprint, and lower costs.
How DataCore Swarm Can Help
An ideal solution for this will be to use a software-defined object storage solution, such as DataCore Swarm, which allows you to build an archive storage comprising standard x86 hardware (any mix of HDDs and SSDs, any vendor). Scale up and scale out as required to meet the capacity needs of the mounting volume of data that you want to store and protect. Swarm automatically determines the most efficient nodes to execute requests based on load distribution.
When used as an active archive, Swarm nodes are always kept online to enable instant access to data whenever and where needed. But, as pointed out earlier, this may not be needed for redundant copies of data, which are mainly accessed for recovery in the event of data loss. By powering down disks that store such data, the electricity and cooling needed can be reduced, contributing to energy and cost savings. Let’s see how to achieve this with Swarm.
Darkive: Adaptive Power Conservation Technology
Swarm includes a nifty function called Darkive for adaptive power conservation. It allows administrators to configure when to power down disks/drives and wake them up again based on custom regulations. Once set, Swarm automatically enforces power savings by spinning down disks. You have full control over specifying periods of inactivity before disks are spun down so that CPU usage is reduced to meet your power reduction targets.
Reducing Storage Footprint and Energy Consumption with Erasure Coding
For data resiliency, Swarm supports both replication and erasure coding. Administrators use erasure coding in scenarios where they may want to optimize resources and server footprint, which additionally contributes to energy savings. Using erasure coding, Swarm breaks a file into smaller chunks and distributes them across multiple server nodes. This approach not only reduces the storage footprint (in comparison to creating redundant copies with replication) but also lowers power consumption since lesser storage capacity is required to store the same amount of data.
As we look ahead to the future, it’s clear that energy efficiency will continue to be a major focus for organizations. With the explosion of data and the increasing costs of energy, IT teams must make difficult choices about where to allocate their resources to optimize energy consumption while ensuring data availability and resiliency.
Swarm provides a sustainable way to stay within energy utilization limits and decrease outlays. Future-proof your data center by addressing concerns of spiraling energy costs. Contact DataCore to learn more about Swarm and its Darkive functionality.