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Flash Memory Means Big Savings for Data Center-Powered Companies
Most every company that runs a data center does so with the cost of kilowatt-hours close to mind. Saving money is always important to the long-term health of any company, and in a bad economy, it only takes on more importance than normal. But for Alibris and Pandora (News - Alert), there were some critical moves they could make that would not only reduce their power consumption, but with that reduce their power expenses and improve their bottom line.
With data centers using a combined total of 61 billion kilowatt-hours, based on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study released back in 2006, it's easy to see why reducing power use is such an imperative. The focus in the past has been on putting more power in the data center operations--bigger servers, faster networks and so on, not to mention keeping all of that equipment running at the proper temperature so that it doesn't burn out--but now, more companies are starting to look at their data centers with an eye toward saving money with better technology.
The EPA study showed that, with the use of proper energy-saving technology, data centers could actually cut their power needs by fully 70 percent. That's no small savings, and would have been largely impossible even just a few years ago. But the advancements in technology--flash memory chief among them--have made the potential gains in energy savings advance a lot more quickly than many would have expected.
The introduction of flash memory into data center systems has already powered big savings for Pandora. It used flash memory to upgrade its cache systems, allowing it to hold 10 times the number of songs it could previously, and increase the number of songs in its caching tier. This made the delivery of those songs a lot faster than before the addition of flash memory, and allowed for reduced power consumption as well.
Alibris' use of flash memory, meanwhile, allowed it to drop its total hardware loadout from a combination of 34 servers and 144 hard drives to just two mirrored servers. That's a drop of around 94 percent in terms of raw hardware, and a major drop in power consumption to match.
The ability to reduce hardware--and by extension reduce power bills--is solid for both economic and environmental reasons. The stories from Alibris and Pandora show clearly how bringing in the best technology can result in substantial savings, and just what kind of impact flash memory can have on a business' operations. Bringing in the best technology for the job will go a long way toward not only providing savings but also helping the environment in the process.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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