When it comes to the human body, your internal organs keep you alive; however, without the skin, the internal organs would face numerous external risks.  The same is true for your data center. Sure, the ‘organs’ – from hard drive and SSD innovations to CPUs and memory in servers – are paramount; however, the enclosures ensure everything, including cooling and energy, operates optimally, so the organs don’t fail, and your data – your business’ competitive differentiator – is both protected and accessible when you need it.

But, why are those enclosures so important? Here are the top 3 reasons to pay closer attention to your storage enclosures:

#1: Application Performance

With extreme storage density, drive vibration control in storage enclosures is more critical than ever. The storage enclosures housing your data may determine how much drive vibration interferes with application performance.

In a recent webinar, we took a closer look at vibration control. The bottom line is that today’s high capacity disk drives depend on squeezing ever-tighter track density onto the magnetic platters. There are extremely tight tolerances on positioning the read/write head correctly to follow the data track. Despite very sophisticated servo mechanisms in the drives, external shock and vibration can cause the head to take longer to settle onto the track and can even cause the head to go off track. There is almost no danger to the data if this happens as the drive senses the shock and shuts off the write gate or stops reading; but it can cause a performance lag while the head waits for the data to come around again. The effect on the application is a slowdown as additional latency is added to disk operations.

Different storage enclosures provide different levels of vibration control, so make sure to learn what technologies are in place to ensure you’ll see the performance you expect. Our IsoVibe™ technology can reduce vibration at the drive by up to 63% compared to competitive systems.

#2: Reliability

Did you know that that in a dense storage enclosure, HDDs running at just 13C hotter than their neighbors can be up to 44% more likely to fail?[1] And, even if drives are running within their specified temperature range, they are more reliable when operating in the lower ranges.  Our innovative ArcticFlow™ technology improves cooling and reduces the likelihood of excessive temperatures inside the enclosure. This technology contributes to improved reliability and partly enables the five-year limited warranty we offer on our platforms.

In the end, when our storage devices operate with greater reliability within our data centers, we have an increased opportunity to unlock the never-ending possibilities of our data. The moment that data is inaccessible due to drive and/or system failures, we run the risk of falling behind our competitors. The question then becomes, why put your data at risk when you can simply ensure your storage enclosures are designed to protect the technology inside of them? Understanding the cooling mechanism and how to improve temperature control will be paramount to ensuring longer lifetime of your hardware.

#3: Cost

To quote Benjamin Franklin, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Most organizations are looking for countless ways to reduce costs and “save their pennies. Oftentimes those savings start with consolidating technology – hardware and software. As you’re investigating how to do optimize your infrastructure look for solutions that will take efficiency one step further by reducing operating expenses of power and cooling, a major cost for many companies.

We have identified a method – ArcticFlow – that can save a large data center (with 20,000 drives installed) as much as $300,000 over a typical five-year lifecycle.[2] The storage enclosure you choose will directly impact your ongoing operational expenses.

Need to Re-Evaluate Your Storage Enclosures? Learn More

The bottom line is that those metal enclosures – much like our skin – are the lifeline for ensuring our infrastructure is operating effectively and efficiently, and the data is able to both live and flourish.

If you want to learn more about why you should re-evaluate your storage enclosures, we invite you to:

• Watch the webinar replay: “How Storage Enclosures Improve Cost, Energy Consumption

• Read our blogs:

How a New Approach to Storage Server Cooling Can Save You Costs

Your Data Infrastructure Deserves Better Storage Enclosures

• Check out our Tech Brief on Storage Enclosures

• Learn more about our Storage Platforms

 

[1] Arrhenius model for reliability de-rating

[2] Estimated using California energy rates

Steve specializes in Data Center Systems marketing at Western Digital.