SNIA Seeks Comment on IT Storage Specs

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced Jan. 21 the availability for public review its initial Green Storage Initiative (GSI) Green Storage Power Measurement Specification.

The initial specification includes a "Green Storage Taxonomy" for classifying storage products based on energy consumption characteristics and application environments, as well as a baseline standard for idle power metrics that can be applied as a uniform method for collecting idle power consumption measurements.

"This initial release of the Green Storage Power Measurement Specification will play an important role moving forward in helping the storage industry, standards-setting organizations, and global governmental agencies measure and shape the energy and power efficiency of storage systems," said Leah Schoeb, chair of the initiative. "The Green Storage Initiative is dedicated to applying the technical and educational expertise of our members to help develop more energy efficient solutions for the IT industry."

"Increased economic and societal pressures provide opportunity for organizations to lower their overall energy usage footprints," said Mark Monroe, director of The Green Grid. "We support the SNIA’s efforts to help drive innovation around the development of energy efficient data storage products."

The Green Storage Taxonomy was designed to classify storage systems based on feature criteria for the application environments that they are intended to support. The application environments are divided into five categories (classes) ranging from small home/office applications (SOHO) to larger enterprise-oriented applications. The feature criteria for each storage system class are based on the required level of data protection, component redundancy, serviceability, data access time, and range of energy consumption.

"The U.S. EPA welcomes SNIA's leadership and ability to reach across the industry to address the growing energy challenges confronting data center operators across the globe," said Andrew Fanara, of EPA’s ENERGY STAR Product Development Team. "The industry metrics developed through SNIA's Green Storage Initiative will help to quantify energy consumption and identify new opportunities to improve data center energy efficiency."

The storage system categories covered under the Green Storage Taxonomy are: Online, Near-Online, Removable Media Libraries, Non-Removable Media Libraries, Infrastructure Appliances, and Infrastructure Switches.

The Idle Power Measurement specification outlines a standard for testing and measuring storage power consumption at idle. The idle power measurements will be reported in raw GB per Watt (GB/W) based on:

• Manufacturer model number

• Raw storage capacity

• Storage media RPM and interface of each type of storage media within the storage device

• The number of enclosures/systems in the online or near-online taxonomy category

• The number of tape drives for systems in the removable-media library taxonomy category

Throughout the year, the organization intends to expand the specification to include development of standardized active power measurement guidelines and metrics, standardized storage system power supply efficiency specifications as well as promotion and publication of each vendor’s completed test metrics.

The detailed SNIA Green Storage Power Measurement Specification including the Green Storage Taxonomy can be found at: http://www.snia.org/tech_activities/publicreview/.

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