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Reducing Carbon Emissions - How LTO Technology can help save Energy

The data center is the heart of information gathering, processing and dissemination. As demand for services increases so too does the demand on supporting resources especially energy to power servers, storage, internet devices and cooling equipment.

The Big Challenge

The reduction of carbon emissions has been a worldwide challenge for most industries. As noted in a recent paper by Brad Johns Consulting LLC, Reducing Data Center Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions with Modern Tape Storage, “Many companies have decided they must incorporate carbon reductions into their strategies and have announced green initiatives.

Researchers estimate that data centers consume 1.8% of all electricity in the United States. Studies also estimate storage systems incorporating hard disk drives consume approximately 19% of the total power within the data centers. Industry analysts estimate that 60% of the data stored on disk storage is infrequently accessed.” Therefore, the assumptive strategy is to move the infrequently accessed or cold data, to the lowest energy consuming storage repository. We will discuss more on that later.

Three steps to help address this threat

With efficiencies in processing and storage power consumption, along with processing power and storage density gains, overall energy consumption is getting lower.

However, with the ever increasing demand for data center services these efficiencies are threatened. The article lists three key areas to help address this threat:

  • Further strengthening and promotion of efficiency standards such as Energy Star for servers, storage, and network devices while requiring such certifications in public IT procurement programs
  • Investment in new technologies is needed to manage future energy demand growth in the cleanest manner possible once current efficiency trends reach their feasible limits
  • Much greater public data and modeling capacities are required for understanding and monitoring data center energy use and its drivers and for designing and evaluating effective policies

Reduce Carbon Emissions and TCO

Carbon Emissions from LTO tape in Data Center

Using tape could reduce carbon emissions by up to 87% over 10 years

Tape storage can help support those key areas. In his paper, Brad Johns used the LTO Total Cost of Ownership tool to explain that: “by moving 10 PB of cold data that is growing 35% annually from disk to tape storage, an [estimated] 87% reduction in carbon emission and an 86% reduction in TCO can be achieved over ten years. IT organizations have a significant opportunity to achieve meaningful carbon emission reductions while lowering operational and capital expenses.”

In the example, the tape system required only .83 million kWh of energy while the disk storage system needed a whopping 6.5 million kWh of energy over the ten year period.

A Green Future - with LTO Technology

Managing data center energy consumption is a necessary challenge while still providing access to information to help make business decisions, provide customer service and remain competitive. LTO technology can help. See more about the value of tape here.


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