Software Defined Storage – The Unsung Hero on Earth Day

Earth Day 2015As Earth Day comes to a close, much of the media and general public’s attention has been focused on climate change, reduced auto and factory emissions and replacement of aging energy resources.

But a lot of what has gone unnoticed are the contributions of the storage industry and innovations that are reducing the size of data centers and storage systems that require millions of kilowatts to run and keep cool.

The world continues to demand more and more data storage, especially with everyone creating and storing digital data from their smartphones over social media. The challenge is keeping up with that data without creating more data centers and additional storage devices.

Software-defined storage has been playing an important role making the world a greener place through innovations such as data snapshots, automated tiering and deduplication. All of these combined and integrated in one solution help datacenters reduce the number of physical storage devices to reduce energy consumption levels and minimize carbon emissions.

Snapshots are point-in-time copies of your data. The ability for backup software to manage snapshots allows you to use existing storage arrays and quickly copy only incremental changes to a file or object. So you’re not making entire duplicates of the data every time something is changed.

Deduplication software reduces our storage footprints by eliminating redundant copies of data. So you’re not using valuable space for several copies of the same blocks of data.

And there’s automated tiering that moves data that your applications don’t frequently use from expensive storage devices to older, lower cost, higher capacity disk storage solutions like tape or slower spinning disks. Data that is less critical can also be stored on the cloud and free up space on your data center floor.

While we continue to think of physical aspects of waste and consumption on Earth Day, it’s important to remember that the world maintains an insatiable appetite for data. We think nothing of creating, sharing and downloading videos, music and images. And when it comes time to access that data, we have no patience to wait.  Traditionally, the answer was more storage devices and more data centers that deplete our energy resources and pollute our environment.

So the answer to meeting increasing demands isn’t more storage boxes. It’s about software that makes those storage boxes smarter and less demanding. And for that reason, software-defined storage will continue to be the unsung hero in our efforts to save the planet.