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Can You Be Too Green? The Green Data Project Launches
At the Storage Decisions conference today, The Data Management Institute and Archive (AMO) launched a joint initiative to develop a strategic approach for Data Center greening.

The Green Data Project ( is an international online community, resource site and web publication focused on managing electronic data in order to reduce electrical power demands in corporate IT.

There are many Green initiatives within the industry today, says Jon William Toigo, founder of both Data Management Institute and AMO, but almost all of them are advancing tactical measures involving hardware technologies rather than strategic approaches focused on archive and data management. Green IT must begin with green data. Otherwise a companys data center greening initiative amounts to little more than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Toigo contends that servers will shortly be overtaken by storage arrays as the biggest power hogs in the corporate data center. Driving the acquisition of storage capacity, he says, is a general failure of companies to manage their data, which is stored on expansive storage infrastructure.

Citing statistics from extensive storage assessments performed by Sun Microsystems, Toigo offers that only about 30% of the space on any hard disk is actually hosting business relevant and frequently accessed information. An additional 40% of the data on disk may be important to retain for regulatory or historical reasons, but is so rarely accessed that it could be readily migrated into an archival repository preferably one constructed using near- or off-line media, like tape or optical, that consume little or no electricity. The balance of the capacity of a typical disk drive contains contraband or orphaned data, and wasted space that could be better managed to forestall the need to buy more power hungry data storage capacity.

The Green Data Project argues that throwing more disk arrays to achieve data center power efficiency, or adding the complexities of thin provisioning software, de-duplication software, or compression software, does not constitute a strategic or permanent solution to the twin problems of storage growth and burgeoning power demands.

Says Toigo, The hardware vendors are reacting in a predictable way to capitalize on a popular trend: Green IT. They are leveraging concerns about power availability and cost, and the growing eco-consciousness of many firms, to sell more gear. They are joined by many software providers who want to wrap their wares in the green flag when, in fact, they contribute little more than a tactical and short-lived delay in 300% growth in disk storage analysts are expecting over the next three years.

While there is nothing wrong with technologies like data compression and de-duplication, Toigo contends, it must be clearly understood that the value of these technologies is limited and tactical. They can buy time that companies can put to good use sorting out their storage junk drawers and putting archiving programs in place.

Says Toigo, Intelligent data management and archiving programs are business-savvy strategies that companies should be pursuing today for compliance, for data protection and for data center greening.

The Green Data Project will advance this perspective through a web community approach. Toigo offers that Green Data Project is the first international collaboration between vendors and consumers and will develop meaningful guidelines and best practices for use by companies that are serious about data center operations greening.

Green Data Project is the first initiative of the recently launched Archive Management.Org and brings together vendor sponsors and technology consumers to expose the root causes of growing data center power demands so they can be addressed effectively.

The Green Data Project is a completely free resource, providing easy access to information about archiving best practices and products. Visitors who register will also be able to comment on articles, ask questions and report on their own strategies for data management and archiving.

Early sponsors of the Green Data Project include FileTek (, Clearview Software (, QStar Technologies (, KOM Networks (, Plasmon (, Caringo (, C2C Systems (, CA (, Data Islandia (, and Zerowait ( Toigo Partners International (, the Data Management Institute ( and Archive ( are co-founders of the initiative. TPI Technologies ( is providing web services and technical support for the initiative.

For more information, contact

Published Saturday, September 29, 2007 7:23 PM by David Marshall
Filed under:
Data Center Knowledge - (Author's Link) - October 1, 2007 7:41 AM

Two more industry groups have emerged offering "thought leadership" on data center and IT energy usage.

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