Best Practices for Energy Efficient and Cost-Effective Data Storage

Learn about the best practices for energy-efficient and cost-effective data storage solutions at Seagate.

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Data growth has exploded so much that pursuing sustainable and cost-effective data storage solutions is now non-negotiable in business. McKinsey reports that most organizations are making environmental, social, and governance (ESG) decisions a priority, including building sustainable tech solutions into everyday operations. And with good reason.

A 2019 study found the cloud had a larger carbon footprint than the airline industry, while data centers worldwide caused 0.3% of carbon emissions. This escalating energy demand means adopting energy efficient and cost-effective data storage is top of mind for many company leaders and decision makers.

As companies grapple with reducing their carbon emissions, the spotlight has turned to the data center. It’s potentially on track to be one of the worst climate offenders, but luckily new best practices for energy and cost-effective data storage can reverse that trajectory. By understanding data center best practices from an ESG perspective, organizations can create better—and greener—data storage to manage their data assets.

Power Management and Optimization

Power management and optimization strategies create a win-win situation for businesses. They contribute to energy and cost-efficient data storage as well as reinforce the organization’s commitment to ESG principles, fostering a more sustainable and responsible operational framework.

Implementing Power Management Features in Storage Systems

One solution includes managing power more intelligently. Dynamic power allocation ensures storage resources are used more efficiently by reducing how much energy they use overall. During periods of low activity, the system can allocate less power to idling components, which reduces waste and the long-term cost to power storage systems. The result is a decreased carbon footprint while still ensuring storage systems have the power they need to operate.

Power management strategies also reduce excessive wear and tear on hardware components, so companies no longer need to replace parts and systems as frequently. Both benefits help companies balance cost optimization—with an eye toward sustainability—by reducing the environmental impact of tech waste.

Incorporating Renewable Energy Sources for Data Centers

Renewables are an incredibly important part of creating future-thinking data centers.

  • Reducing the Carbon Footprint: Integrating renewable energy sources allows data centers to significantly reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, which translates to a smaller carbon footprint and mitigates the environmental impact of data processing.
  • Cost Savings: Renewable sources generate electricity with fewer ongoing operational costs. This stability can lead to significant cost savings over time, making data center operations more financially sustainable.
  • Energy Independence: Energy-independent data centers are less susceptible to power grid disruptions, ensuring uninterrupted service availability. This resilience is critical in today’s data-driven world, where even brief downtime can have disastrous consequences on reputation and bottom line.
  • Compliance and Reputation: Using renewable energy showcases a commitment to sustainable practices, which can help achieve compliance requirements and be a valuable selling point in a competitive market.
  • Long-Term Viability: By investing in renewables, data centers secure a long-term, reliable energy supply.

Seagate, too, is committed to two moonshot goals: reducing carbon neutrality by 2040 and reaching 100% renewable energy in Seagate manufacturing and R&D sites by 2030. Renewables are a key component of our commitment to an ethical datasphere.

Data Management Strategies

How companies manage data plays a pivotal role in achieving the delicate balance between sustainability, high performance, and cost effectiveness. Here’s what that looks like.

Data Deduplication and Compression Techniques

By adopting data optimization techniques, companies minimize the cost of storage without sacrificing efficiency. Once companies identify and eliminate duplicate data, they can reduce the overall size of that stored data. As a real-world use case, Seagate’s innovative drive technologies incorporate these hardware-based data compression features, helping companies reduce the storage footprint to conserve energy. Seagate’s Exos® series, for instance, leverages compression technology to enhance storage efficiency automatically while ensuring data integrity and accessibility.

Effective Data Life cycle Management

Companies must use a tailored approach to storing data across its lifecycle. This ensures efficient resource allocation. Organizations can optimize storage infrastructure by aligning data value and access frequency with the most suitable storage solutions. This means understanding who is using data and how, and leveraging storage that facilitates the most efficient process.

As data moves, lifecycle management ensures the most operationally efficient process at each stage. Seagate can ensure optimal lifecycle management through tools and systems that facilitate automated data tiering based on policies the company sets. This means data migrates to the most appropriate storage tier as it ages. Taking this dynamic approach optimizes energy use and minimizes costs.

Utilizing Tiered Storage for Different Data Types and Access Frequency

We can’t overstress how vital the concept of tiered storage is. It involves segregating data based on usage patterns. This approach enhances both performance and sustainability. In fact, Seagate’s diverse portfolio of storage solutions caters specifically to tiered storage needs, enabling organizations to optimize their entire data storage infrastructure. One example is Seagate’s enterprise-grade Exos drives, which provide optimal performance for frequently accessed data demanding high-speed storage.

Utilizing Cloud Storage and Replication for Redundancy

Leveraging cloud storage and data replication strengthens data redundancy and disaster recovery strategies. Cloud-based redundancy enhances data resilience while also reducing the need for physical resources, contributing to ESG-aligned resource management. Seagate provides solutions that seamlessly integrate with cloud storage services, allowing organizations to extend their storage infrastructure into the cloud. This approach offloads data and applications, reducing on-premises hardware requirements and the associated energy consumption.

Best Practices for Energy and Cost-Effective Data Storage

Efficient, sustainable infrastructure is fundamental to aligning data storage strategy with ESG principles.

Optimal Server and Data Center Design for Energy Efficiency

Designing energy-efficient servers and data centers is a cornerstone of an ESG-aligned infrastructure. These designs minimize power consumption and cooling requirements, helping companies support broader sustainability objectives like energy efficiency. They are instrumental in curbing power consumption and reducing the need for extensive cooling systems, which negatively impact the environment and lead to significant costs.

Seagate has intentionally been at the forefront of energy-efficient hardware design. Our commitment to renewable energy sources and data center optimization aligns seamlessly with ESG principles. We’ve transitioned key manufacturing sites to renewable energy and employ state-of-the-art data center design, allowing us to reduce our carbon footprint significantly. This achievement serves as a testament to the importance of energy-efficient infrastructure in the pursuit of ESG goals.

Importance of Regular Hardware Maintenance and Upgrades

Maintaining and upgrading hardware components on a consistent basis holds immense potential for ESG goals. Such practices ensure hardware longevity and efficiency and directly contribute to waste reduction and energy conservation.

Our dedication to extending the operational life of over one million hard drives and SSDs through our refurbishment program in fiscal year 2022 indicates the value of regular hardware maintenance. We’ve prevented more than 540 metric tons of e-waste from going to landfills. By reducing electronic waste and conserving resources, companies can make their mark on ESG.

Building a Sustainable Storage Future

The ever-changing landscape of data storage requires a forward-thinking, efficiency-first design commitment. The convergence of data centers and ESG principles is not just a fleeting trend. It's a fundamental shift toward a more sustainable and inclusive future—one where data thrives without negatively impacting the environment or consumers.

Seagate is a trailblazer in this field, offering cutting-edge data storage solutions based on our own ESG work that seamlessly integrate with your ESG principles. Partnering with Seagate empowers organizations to access transformative solutions that optimize data storage, reduce costs, and align with a commitment to a sustainable and responsible future.

Talk to a Seagate expert to find out how our storage solutions provide peak performance while ensuring sustainability.