IDC Expects Focus on Cost-Efficient Storage to Result in Lower Power and Cooling Costs in the Near Term

FRAMINGHAM, MA – October 25, 2010 – In a follow up to the industry's only in-depth analysis of the costs to power and cool enterprise storage worldwide, International Data Corporation (IDC) has found that these costs are likely to level off in the 2013-2014 timeframe. The temporary plateau in storage power and cooling costs will be brought about by several key trends: the migration to smaller (2.5in.), more energy efficient enterprise-class hard disk drives (HDDs); greater utilization of existing storage capacity; and the continued adoption of solid state drives (SSDs) and various other storage efficiency technologies (e.g., data deduplication, compression, and thin provisioning).

"There is no doubt that the economic straits of 2008 and 2009 modified the attitudes and behaviors of IT managers and system OEMs, greatly accelerating interest in and the adoption of more cost-efficient storage strategies," said David Reinsel, group vice president for Storage Systems at IDC. "While the direction of these efforts is good, and the inflection point toward lower costs is notable, it's not likely the trend will be sustainable. Once the migration to cost-efficient hardware and strategies is complete, the steady expansion in capacity will result in renewed growth in energy costs."

Enterprise storage remained a key area of investment for CIOs and IT managers throughout the economic downturn, driven by the continuous pressure to store more and more data. Annual capacity shipments within enterprise storage (external) increased 38% year-over-year in 2009, while shipments of HDDs into external enterprise storage increased by 10% year over year. But interest in storage efficiency technologies grew throughout the period as IT budgets turned flat or declined. While storage efficiency technologies can bring about one-time efficiency gains and savings within the datacenter, migrating to components that consume less power, and hence generate less heat, offers important energy savings over the long term.

In addition to smaller form factor HDDs and low-power SSDs, another important part of the storage efficiency strategies has been the shift toward slower-spinning SATA drives, which have a 2x storage capacity advantage over traditional high performance enterprise drives. Combined, these technologies will play a critical part in slowing the growth in enterprise storage power and cooling costs, and the associated carbon footprint, over the next several years.

The IDC report, A Plateau in Sight for the Rising Costs to Power and Cool the World's External Storage? (Doc #225016), evaluates enterprise storage power and cooling costs in light of the economic crisis that began in 2008, the increasing adoption of storage efficiency technologies, and the change in assumptions around the adoption of more efficient hardware technology (e.g., small form factor HDDs and SSDs). Within the study, IDC updates the total number of spinning disks in enterprise external storage today and estimates the real costs associated with powering and cooling these disks through 2014. It also puts this cost into perspective to the overall costs of acquiring and managing storage hardware.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting [].

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