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The environmental impact of large companies is under tremendous social scrutiny. Many companies, and especially Fortune 500 companies, are now focused on finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint and even pursue net-zero emissions. One obvious place to start is in IT: data center power consumption has increased by 43 percent over the past three years, and reliance on technology is only increasing. To combat this, companies need to find more energy-efficient IT solutions.

For data storage, multiple factors need to be considered when looking at reducing overall carbon footprint. Power consumption, energy efficiency, electronic waste and product lifecycle all need to be taken into account. Storage systems that use less power to store more data while extending the refresh cycle are the ideal target for companies looking to make a large impact. 

FlashCore technology

According to a recent study, IBM was able to demonstrate that their FlashSystem all-flash storage arrays have 122 percent higher raw capacity per rack unit compared with the closest competitor. That translates to 30 percent greater effective storage per rack unit. Even more impressive, FlashSystem arrays have been shown to have 809 percent higher transactional IOPS per watt compared to competitors (on average). Put more simply, IBM FlashSystem storage can perform better and take up less space, all while using less energy. 

IBM FlashSystem arrays use proprietary FlashCore modules which have multiple features designed to improve their reliability and longevity. Health binning can quarantine faulty cells without having to fail entire modules, and heat segregation monitors the health and performance of cells to make sure data is optimally placed. This directly leads to a longer lifespan of both the modules and the array itself, resulting in reduced environmental impact. 

The resurgence of tape

The technology with the most dramatic energy savings for storing data continues to be tape. Hyperscalers and companies storing large amounts of data are seeing huge impacts to their green initiatives by tiering cold data to tape storage. The cost, density, energy usage and longevity of tape storage is still unmatched in the industry. Modern tape technology is rated to last 30 years, and cold data stored on tape uses no energy until it is accessed. And as an added incentive, IBM tape is approximately 25 percent of the cost of comparably sized primary storage array.

One study showed that a 100PB environment that tiered cold data to tape reduced carbon emissions by 95 percent, TCO by 73 percent, and decreased electronic waste by 80 percent. When this is combined with the inherent cyber resilient nature of tape, it is easy to see why the demand for tape is on the rise.

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IBM and WWT are dedicated to helping companies reduce their environmental impact with better compute and storage technology.

WWT can help your company evaluate energy-efficient storage and compute solutions to meet your needs. WWT is an IBM-designated global and regional systems integrator (SI) and solution provider.

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