Storage vendors worldwide have jumped on the "green" bandwagon in their marketing campaigns, but it’s often hard to determine which technologies move beyond hype and rhetoric to have a real positive impact.

A new report from Forrester Research suggests, however, that adopting an environmentally responsible approach to storage can help to make it more efficient, reducing capital and operating costs at the same time.

Entitled Align Green Storage With Overall Efficiency it says that poor measurement capabilities, high switching costs, and overall buyer conservatism have limited green considerations from having significant influence on purchase decisions.

Its author, Andrew Reichman, says the report is intended to highlight the approaches that make the most economic sense.

"In a gloomy economy, initiatives that sound good but have little measurable influence on the bottom line are unlikely to receive funding, so sorting through the claims and identifying benefits that are achievable in the near term is key to a successful green strategy in storage."

He goes on to say that given the current economic climate, there are green storage approaches that are likely to see higher adoption. Among them:

  • Dense drives, such as SATA and FATA, are the greenest storage technology going and can have a tremendous impact on the green and financial bottom line
  • Thin provisioning can reduce the overall footprint of usable data and dramatically increase storage utilization, which is often low because of large upfront allocations that often sit idle
  • Deduplication eliminates redundant copies of data. Forrester expects significant focus on these capabilities, which significantly reduce the amount of disk space required to save a given amount of data, from vendors in the near term.

An abstract of the report is available here.

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