Datacenter SSDs Energy Saving Could Power up Gambia
A new research report states that SSDs have the potential to save massive amounts of energy; if most datacenters across the world switch over to SSDs, the power saved by 2013 will be enough to power up a small country.
SSDs might still be out of reach of most consumers due to their high prices, but they look entirely different from the enterprise point of view. Not only do they give significant performance improvements, but also provide massive power savings, which makes good investment sense.
When SSDs were first introduced, the concept was one of better, faster performance combined with power savings. Now with more datacenters replacing high-end, fast spinning HDDs with SSDs, the predicted power savings are becoming visible. However, the true impact of SSDs will only become visible in a few years from now when most datacenters have adopted this technology.
A report by research firm iSuppli states that SSDs have the potential to help datacenters across the world save a massive 166,643-megawatt hours of electricity by 2013. This is more power than what the African nation of Gambia currently produces in one year.
While the figure seems impressive, we can only gauge its importance by looking at current figures. In 2008, the total energy savings achieved by datacenters adopting SSDs was only around 7,000 Mwh. EWeek expects these would rise by 58,000 Mwh by 2013, creating the scope for such huge savings.
Elaborating on the possibility, iSuppli analyst Krishna Chander has stated in the report, “SSDs potentially could replace 10 percent of the high-end and high-RPM hard disk drives used in datacenters that are 'short stroked' [used for rapid reads and writes of transaction data coming into these drives at fast speeds], rather for storage capacity.”
“Each of these 15,000 RPM serial-attached SCSI (SAS) drives draws about 14 watts during [a normal] day. SSDs, on the other hand, draw about half the power of these HDDs, at an estimated 7 watts. A 50 percent savings in power consumption is a noticeable improvement, so even a small penetration of SSDs in enterprise datacenters could result in massive power savings.”
With US datacenters currently using up 2% of all energy produced in the country, and the US already running out of power, the push to SSDs for datacenters is a given. With increasing number of datacenters under pressure to reduce both energy consumption and costs, industry analysts expect anywhere between 10% and 40% of all datacenters to switch over to SSDs. This switch is expected to be further hastened by the dropping prices of SSDs.
On the whole, the stage is set for SSDs to take over from traditional and enterprise-class HDDs in a big way, and the sooner it happens, the better it will be for the energy state of the world.