While changes in business and consumer practices are resulting in larger volumes of data generation, the Sarbanes Oxley Act is also creating an increased demand for compliance in data reporting. Network stability and expedient data access for business continuity is the buzz word today. However, the increasing volumes of data and backup traffic are resulting in consumption of greater amounts of energy and this translates into problems that are associated with global warming. Sustainable green data storage therefore, is attracting attention and going green with data is considered the top priority in the world of business today.

What is green data storage? Green data storage is all about putting in place systems that mitigate the impact of rising data storage usage; reduces electricity use and heat generation in storing, maintaining and accessing data. Ideally, you would yearn for data storage systems that:

1. Optimize on power consumption
2. Contain energy efficient components
3. Have high capacity disk drives
4. Move frequently accessed data to Cache, solid state memory
5. Move infrequently used data to tape
6. Delete unwanted data before storage
7. Perform de-duplication of data before storage
8. Use thin provisioning
9. Consolidate and moves data to networked or virtual storage
10. Lower CO2 emissions associated with data backup and storage

How do organizations begin the process?
Going green however, is not as complicated as it sounds. Like charity, it begins at home. You do not have to wait for expensive energy efficient systems to be in place before you begin “going green”. You can start by optimizing storage devices and efficiently managing power consumption on the existing infrastructure.

Many businesses have taken lead on “going green” with data by optimizing on the use of current infrastructure. They are creating green data backup and storage environments from within the available resources by tweaking investment and utilizing funds optimally to assist in the process.

One fantastic way of reducing the carbon foot print that has been adopted is investment in server virtualization software. This software helps reduce the number of physical servers and creates virtual up to 20 Virtual Servers on a larger server. This also reduces power consumption and makes for better CPU processing, memory usage and disk space usage.

Another go green technology that is widely acclaimed is the creation of virtualized pools of disk storage. Virtualized pools of disk storage also improve data backup processes, utilize available disk space optimally and keep the data highly available. Numbers of Virtual RAID systems and disk drives in use can be reduced.

Desktop virtualization is another facet of the go green efforts of these businesses. Desktop virtualization also moves the data and applications from individual desktops to a Desktop Virtual Server. Apart from easing upgrades, it also improves downtime and is more environment-friendly.

Use of faster, high capacity tapes and disks have also helped these businesses go green. Use of secondary storage devices as an extension of primary storage infrastructure has also opened up a world of opportunities in data storage. File archiving software has been deployed in such environments to archive files that have not been accessed for more than 90 days. This helps save up on time and energy used up in backing up such files on a daily or weekly basis.

Deletion and de-duplication of data was another implement able “going green” process that was adapted to an advantage in the short term. So, if you are a data administrator and have been given the mandate to go green, you begin right where you are with what you have