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Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers Alan G. Yoder, Ph.D. NetApp Chair, SNIA Technical Council
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 2 Abstract Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers An impressive amount of work has been done to date on improving the electrical efficiency of various data center components. The data storage industry has begun to see the fruits of this effort, with increased power supply and fan efficiencies. However, storage presents other significant opportunities for energy conservation, through various types of capacity optimization, that are not captured in electrical efficiency discussions. As data storage uses on the order of 25% of IT power in an average data center, these other opportunities bear examination. This article presents a survey of emerging storage technologies which positively impact energy usage and presents current thinking in the storage industry regarding their relative effectiveness. It also attempts to set a baseline for configurations against which improvements in capacity and energy use can be made.
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 3 Outline Purpose of paper What is storage? What is storage efficiency? Baseline data center storage configuration Storage optimizing technologies Ballpark savings guesstimates SNIA activities Conclusion
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 4 Purpose of paper Introduce storage as a separate and special problem in energy efficiency Data at rest requirements Set baseline for comparison of purported improvements Establish a taxonomy for ways of saving energy Survey of what industry has been doing in the area of energy efficiency
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 5 What is storage? At home Apple Time Machine + 2 USB drives (one offsite) In the lab Linux/BSD box and a few SATA drives In the data center Hi performance (both latency and bandwidth) Petabyte scale RAS (reliability, availability, serviceability) 5 9s availability or better (< 5 min unplanned downtime / yr) RPO of minutes or less (sometimes zero) RTO of minutes non-disruptive firmware and hardware upgrades Something always broken, yet life goes on
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 6 What is storage efficiency? Electrical efficiency How much heat is generated during the conversion of electrical energy into useful work? Good for CPUs, maybe for data in flight Storage efficiency How much data can be crammed into a box using a given amount of electricity and raw capacity (Definitions are still a work in progress) All based around sizeof(data) and sizeof(raw capacity)
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 7 Baseline configuration No single point of failure (no SPOF) *everything* is redundant RAID 1 dual pathing power supplies operate at 50% load (or less) No system-wide reboots *everything* is hot-swappable High performance (SAN emulates Direct Attach) Fibre Channel drives
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 8 Summary of baseline configuration No SPOF RAID 1 FC drives This configuration has ruled Tier 1 storage in the data center for 15 years Emphasis on performance and data safety
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 9 Storage optimizing technologies Electrical efficiency Disk spindown Power supply and fan efficiency, and SSDs Capacity optimization Delta snapshots Thin provisioning Advanced RAID Data deduplication Compression Hybrid systems Slow SATA drives + flash
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 10 A nod to facilities optimization Usually the most energy savings are gotten here PUE = ratio of input power to IT power Traditional PUE: 2.25 and up Modern PUE: 1.2 Air economizers, variable speed fans, flywheel UPSs, etc. Savings of over 50% often possible Impossible to obtain with IT equipment optimizations assuming old-style power delivery inefficiencies (PUE > 2.0)
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 11 Storage Efficiency: 4 techniques Make the equipment more energy efficient Use less redundancy Commit less space Squeeze more data into available space
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 12 Making equipment more energy efficient Power supply efficiency 80plus, Climate Savers, US EPA Efficiencies driven from ~65% to ~90% and up Variable speed fans Power theoretically quadratic in rotational speed Great opportunity Not enough operational data to date Disk spindown Looks great on paper; problematic in practice RAID groups, background housekeeping Only suitable for secondary storage due to latency hit So far not viable in marketplace
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 13 Better energy efficiency (cont.) SSDs Seemingly ideal Zero data at rest energy (caveat: housekeeping requirements an open question) Data in flight energy scales with IOPs Price barriers to widespread adoption High-capacity drives with flash Performance about as good as FC No free lunch caveat: except when at write saturation 1/6 the energy density of FC at rest Question: will the flash migrate to the host?
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 14 Using less redundancy RAID 1 50% space efficiency Storage bricks (Google et al) typically 33% or less similar to RAID 1 + online backup much worse if CPUs arent occupied with useful work RAID 5 Recommended raid group size of 5 to 8 80% to 88% efficiency RAID 6 Recommended raid group size of 10 to 16 80% to 88% efficiency Moving to this because of convergence of BER and disk size on modern systems ~4% chance annually of 2 nd disk failure during RAID reconstruct on a 100-disk array
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 15 Using less redundancy (cont.) Delta snapshots shared-data PIT copies technology is similar to vfork read-only and read-write variants many data protection and what-if scenarios satisfied with deltas instead of full copies
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 16 Committing less space Thin provisioning Works similarly to user quotas in filesystems Impressive gains, because Volumes are overprovisioned (more space for files than used) Systems are overprovisioned (more space for volumes than used)
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 17 Squeezing more data into available space Compression Harder on block storage (quantization) Deduplication Savings are most impressive on secondary storage Global dedup an unsolved problem Communication, index overhead You *better* not lose that base copy!
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 18 Average savings (from baseline or historical figures) TechnologySavings Facilities optimization50% Power supply improvements20% Variable speed fansunknown Large capacity drives80% Advanced RAID40% Delta snapshots90% + Thin provisioning50% In-place data deduplication27% (Netapp: 1 exaByte) Compression20% +
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 19 Storage procural politics IT guys dont pay utility bill (OPEX) So they dont care how power efficient the storage is until they hit a density wall Capacity optimizing technologies affect CAPEX as well as OPEX Capacity optimizing technologies allow them to buy less gear to store the same data IT guys do care about this
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 20 SNIA activities GSI – Green Storage Initiative Collect and harmonize industry feedback for US EPA Evangelize technical work Develop labeling program Green TWG – Technical Working Group IP-protected group Idle and active power metrics Capacity Optimization subgroup (of TWG) Characterization of capacity optimization technologies Tutorials, whitepapers, etc. At SNW trade shows, in FarSighted magazine
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 21 Baseline configuration revisited For research into data center class storage Disk subsystems No SPOF in shelves Multipathing RAID 6 (or 5 if 6 is unavailable) 100 or more disks Controllers No SPOF Multipathing Multiprotocol (NFS + CIFS) Thin provisioning, delta snapshots, compression, dedup all operational
Energy Efficient Storage Technologies for Data Centers © 2010 Alan G. Yoder. All Rights Reserved. 22 Questions
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