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Spectra's tape libraries use significantly less power than competing disk and tape products. Additionally, our tape libraries include BlueScale EnergyAudit software to monitor exactly how much power is being consumed.
BlueScale Energy Audit: Energy-Aware Technology

Historically, server managers have been concerned about power, but power management problems are increasingly plaguing more areas of the data center. With storage requirements expanding at an alarming pace, storage is continually accounting for more and more of today's data center power load. With energy costs rising, it is necessary that you have cost-effective and energy-efficient storage. By using innovative engineering and design, Spectra's T-Series libraries offer you solutions that use less power and give you tools to actually see the money you're saving.

BlueScale Power Consumption Screen

The power monitoring feature taps directly into the power supply to check out how much power is in use, and can report the data using any of several metrics:

  • W/Ft3 (Watts per cubic foot) - Watts consumed per cubic foot of library.
  • W/Ft2 (Watts per square foot) - Watts consumed per square foot of library.
  • W/TB (Watts per terabyte) - Watts consumed per terabyte of media capacity in a library.

This value can also be presented in terms of each frame or expansion unit, and it can be expressed over chunks of time if you choose. For example, you may want to see Watts per terabyte of data polled every 30 seconds.

The methods for calculating the power use of a library typically have to be performed manually using specifications (usually based on 100% or worst case load) and a calculator.

Spectra Logic decided that this approach wasn't enough—so now, power monitoring is part of the BlueScale interface through EnergyAudit. The T-Series libraries, including Spectra's flagship T950 library, now provide real-time monitoring of power use right through the same interface used to manage other aspects of the library. Certainly, you can still monitor usage using specifications (and if you do, you'll find that the Spectra T950 uses an average of 60% less power than other libraries in its class), however, real-time monitoring gives you a chance to check your actual power use and balance the energy load in your data center.

Tape is Budget Friendly

Tape libraries are simply more cost effective than disk solutions. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of a disk system is significant when you consider the energy costs required to run the disk.* Spectra's T-Series libraries allow you to keep your TCO to a minimum. The T-Series annual energy requirements cost 4% that of disk; and when compared to the energy costs of other tape libraries in its class, the Spectra T950 energy costs are 50% less.

Yearly Electrical Costs with a 10% Increase in Electricity Costs Each Year*

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Tape Systems $4,238 $4,662 $5,128 $5,640 $6,205
Disk Systems $109,745 $120,720 $132,792 $146,071 $160,678

*Source: Tape and Disk Costs - What It Really Costs to Power the Equipment, in Clipper Notes,February 1, 2007

Exceptional Efficiency

Spectra systems are designed for industry-leading power efficiency, with dual AC and n+1 power DC power supplies. Many competitor systems are dual AC with dual DC power. All power supplies have built-in inefficiencies and waste a certain amount of energy based on the load they carry. When a power supply is under-utilized, the efficiency goes down and the amount of wasted power goes up. Dual DC systems are the most inefficient / wasteful. In the case of all dual AC / dual DC systems the power loss can be 30% - 40% of the power the unit is consuming, even when the power supplies are not performing any work.

With Dual AC and N+1 DC power supplies, there is only one redundant power supply on standby at any time, thereby reducing our energy waste. For example, a two frame T950 with 48 drives would have (14) 400 watt supplies if fully loaded, (6+1) in the first cabinet and (6+1) in the second cabinet, plus (1+1) 24V supplies in the first cabinet. With Dual AC/Dual DC this same system would need (24) 400 watt supplies and (2) 24V supplies - (6+6) in the first cabinet and (6+6) in the second, then (1+1) 24V in the first. In this case, our design reduces energy waste by eliminating the need for 10 power supplies!


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