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Pondering the green-ness of storage

I have about two weeks worth of notes scattered all over my desk, all about worthy green tech companies that should have their story told. I get all super-organized at the end of the year, which usually inspires a major bout of winter cleaning and purging of my files.

I have about two weeks worth of notes scattered all over my desk, all about worthy green tech companies that should have their story told. I get all super-organized at the end of the year, which usually inspires a major bout of winter cleaning and purging of my files. So, since I'm thinking about closets and saving things and trashing things, I decided storage should be my topic on this sunny Christmas Eve.

I get kinda overwhelmed thinking about how data replicates and multiplies every second I'm using this computer. Now, can you imagine if all of those bits and pieces of information were printed out on paper? I know somewhere there's an estimate of how many trees would be killed in the process, but it's too depressing to find it right now. Anyway, you could say, storage presents one of those classic green dilemmas: Its existence saves trees. Then again, without ever-expanding disk space people wouldn't store things they probably should be getting rid of anyway. And that could be printed later. Oh, I forgot, if you don't save it you could get sued. Hey, let's blame the lawyers.

But I digress.

I guess you could say that many ongoing advances in the storage marketplace aren’t strictly green, but they wind up serving that purpose. So who am I to complain?

This is a good thing, according to Miklos Sandorfi, chief technology office for Sepaton, a relatively new member of The Green Grid. That’s because all of the major requests for proposal that the vendor considers now include requirements for maximizing minimal space and reducing power consumption, he says. It’s one thing that prompted Sepaton (which simply means “No tapes” spelled backwards) to join The Green Grid. And, of course, all of the company's marketing activities pick up on these themes.

“It’s absolutely part of the conversation,” says Sandorfi.

Sepaton’s major product focuses are virtual tape libraries and data deduplication technologies.

DeltaStor, its data deduplication software, works to reduce a company’s storage footprint by analyzing the differences file revisions, saving the latest copy and keeping records of only what’s different from earlier versions. To me, data dedupe makes a whole lot of sense from an efficiency standpoint. Its green-ness is also a big bonus.

Sepaton's virtual tape libraries, including its latest revision called the S2100-ES2 Series 750, are designed to back up files more quickly, which cuts back on power consumption. The product supports 4 gigabit Fibre Channel and can perform data backups and restorations at a rate of up to 34.5 terabytes per hour. The S2100-ES2 isn’t cheap: Pricing starts at $59,000 for the rack ready edition.

So, is Sepaton inherently green? Maybe it wasn't originally founded with that mission, but the company is smart to be pushing that angle going into 2008.