Storage Vendors Tout Green Credentials

A storage industry group has launched a service to measure the energy efficiency of storage products and to help users obtain rebates from utilities for implementing eco-friendly storage solutions.

Wikibon, which bills itself as the “first Web 2.0 technology research and advisory community,” today unveiled Conserve IT, a service aimed at helping IT companies and their customers qualify for rewards offered by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) for installing energy-efficient equipment.

Wikibon co-founder and principal contributor David Vellante said the group launched the program because the storage industry has been slow to take advantage of such incentive programs despite accounting for 20 to 30 percent of data center power costs.

“Many organizations outside the Fortune 50 don’t even know where to start,” he said, adding that Wikibon’s goal is to act as a “translator” between the IT and energy industries.

“The IT industry doesn’t speak kilowatt, and the utility industry doesn’t speak geek, so we stepped in to translate,” he said.

The group is already in talks with other utilities to expand the program to other regions, among them Texas, Southern California, New Jersey, New York and Vancouver, said Vellante, and the program may be expanded to servers and other technologies.

3PAR (NYSE: PAR) was the first vendor to take advantage of the program. Wikibon Energy Lab testing found that 3PAR InServ arrays and thin provisioning technology can save as much as 75 percent on energy costs over “traditional modular and monolithic arrays.”

Craig Nunes, 3PAR’s vice president of marketing, said Wikibon helped 3PAR obtain results within two months. “Wikibon’s knowledge of the PG&E process combined with a terrific understanding of storage virtualization dramatically accelerated our qualification and reduced the workload on our internal team,” Nunes said in a statement.

Wikibon charges vendors for the validation services, but says the results are independent.

Other vendors signing on for the program include Compellent, DataDirect Networks, EMC (NYSE: EMC), Hitachi Data Systems, Nexsan and Xiotech.

PG&E incentives are based on the amount of energy savings achieved by data centers through energy-efficient storage technologies such as MAID, virtualization and thin provisioning, and Wikibon and its clients are also seeking qualification of tiered storage management, high-density arrays, flash drives, intelligent spindown, data de-duplication and other technologies. To qualify for the financial incentives, Northern and Central California PG&E customers must apply for and be accepted into the incentive program before deploying the new storage technologies.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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