Data centres and the data storage industry have received a lot of attention recently. There is increasing concern over the amount of energy that data centres consume, as well as concern over the ability of storage devices to develop quickly enough to keep up with user demands. In a 2007 study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on electricity usage by data centres, it was shown that the cost of data storage is steadily rising, while the budgets for networking equipment and servers remained relatively steady. According to Steve Denegri, a storage consultant and financial analyst, this trend is bad news for data centres.
Denegri contends that the direction in which many data centres are heading - towards increased energy efficiency - is not the correct one, and will ultimately lead to a deepening of the storage crisis. He says that in order for the storage industry to grow, and to keep up with the demands placed in it by consumers, it needs "an ample supply of energy". The fact that the industry is trying to work around energy limitations with green initiatives rather than addressing the problem directly places undue stress on the industry and consistently ignores real consumer needs.
Denegri says that the storage industry is trying to enable consumers to use more resources at lower levels of power consumption because that it what they believe consumers want. But Denegri contends that what consumers really want is lower utility costs. By pandering to the green trend and projecting an environmentally conscious image, the storage industry is in fact placing consumers between that much talked about rock and hard place. As companies continue to make small adjustments and adaptations to their energy efficient devices, consumers have to continually upgrade or replace their systems. So while storage companies are assured of a continuing market, consumers are paying through the nose for better "low cost" performance.
Instead of going green, the storage industry should tackle the energy problem head on, which according to Denegri, entails building "multiple thousand-megawatt" power plants, as suggested by the Uptime Institute. Companies need to expand and contribute to the capacity of power grids, rather than being a drain on them.
While Denegri allows that energy efficiency is an important concern, he's somewhat scornful of companies that "buy into that nonsense". As far as he is concerned, the storage/energy problem should be viewed from a strictly business position and that purely business orientated solutions should be applied. If it doesn't increase revenue and pander to the whims of consumerist public, then it's not worth considering.
Even though his solutions make great business sense, Denegri has failed to take into account the fact that it is precisely this kind of thinking that led to this problem in the first place. All industries need to start taking cognisance and responsibility for their impact on the environment, and rather than behaving like spoilt children denied their favourite treat, they should find ways to earn their treats. Consumers will also have to learn to live more simply and economically because this is not purely a business problem, but an overarching environmental one. Companies who subscribe to this way of thinking are not "buy in to any nonsense", but are demonstrating appreciable common sense. Their efforts shouldn't be mocked, but applauded.
Sandra wrote this article for the online marketers MVI Data Recovery data recovery specialists leaders in the field of data recovery and retrieval
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