Cold Storage Can Be Green Data Storage

Disk-based data storage, which can cost an organization $25/GB/month, offers Green ICT opportunities. We been tracking how people are reducing the impact of disk storage. This post looks at alternatives to disk storage for rarely used, event-driven data. This is known as Tier-3 storage and is particularly suited for 'offline' or 'cold' storage.

Fred Moore of Horison Information Strategies estimated that consideration of tape-based data storage. "…over 65% of the world’s digital data is optimally suited for tier 3 storage. Tier 3 applications are rapidly growing storage requirements at nearly 60% compounded annually and it is this tier that will derive the most benefit from future tape developments and new architectures…tape is the greenest storage technology and typically uses about one-fifth of the electricity that disk does."

Optical disks are another cold storage option. VideoEdge reported in April 2014 that "..Jay Parikh, Facebook’s chief of infrastructure engineering, revealed that his company has chosen Blu-ray discs for cold storage archiving...Facebook, Parikh says, will save 50 percent in costs and 80 percent in energy use over existing hard disk cold storage technology."

Beyond tape and optical disks is Flash storage. VideoEdge goes on to note, "Facebook wants to eventually use a lower power and poorer grade of Flash memory it calls “cold Flash...Cold Flash can be dense, low grade and cheap because it would be used as a WORM (write once, ready many) medium. It can also be much slower, taking 10 times longer to write data than regular Flash memory. After the data is written to the Flash media, it would only be “read,” not rewritten repeatedly. Archival Flash devices are now coming to the market, but such low-cost memory is not here yet."

Storage Represents a Green ICT Opportuity
Tape storage in professional video production