Power Consumption in Enterprise-Scale Backup Storage Systems

TitlePower Consumption in Enterprise-Scale Backup Storage Systems
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLi, Z., Greenan K. M., Leung A. W., and Zadok E.
Conference NameUSENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST '12)
Date Published02/2012
PublisherUSENIX Association
Conference LocationSan Jose, CA

Power consumption has become an important factor in modern storage system design. Power efficiency is particularly beneficial in disk-based backup systems that store mostly cold data, have significant idle periods, and must compete with the operational costs of tape-based backup. There are no prior published studies on power consumption in these systems, leaving researchers and practitioners to rely on existing assumptions. In this paper we present the first analysis of power consumption in real-world, enterprise, disk-based backup storage systems. We uncovered several important observations, including some that challenge conventional wisdom. We discuss their impact on future power-efficient designs.