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4 minute readGoogle Reduces Costs by Repurposing Hardware

As cost reduction trends continue to emerge in the data storage market, Google appears to be leading the pack with some extremely innovative and creative methods. Striving to make their data centers more efficient, they have implemented several plans to negate environmental impact and reduce spending.

Google isn’t bashful about their cost effective strategy. On its data center website, Google states, “our approach is to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as we possibly can.”

To reduce their environmental impact, Google has built a data center in Hamina, Finland that uses passive cooling from the ocean as well as outside air. Frigid ocean water from the Bay of Finland is be pumped in to cool the data center, which Google says is cost and energy efficient.

This data center may also include another very important element of Google’s cost saving strategy: repurposed data hardware. Google has been repurposing servers since 2007, and says “Before we buy new equipment and materials, we look for ways to reuse what we already have.” This wise choice has helped Google avoid purchasing over 90,000 replacement machines.

How can cost saving strategies from Google work for you? Ocean water cooling systems may not be convenient (or even feasible!) for your enterprise, but repurposing data hardware can provide you with tremendous cost savings.

Repurpose and Extend Legacy Systems

One common misconception is that system arrays need to be replaced per a manufacturer’s suggestion when storage arrays reach end-of-life. Usually, this action is associated with a costly system purchase that requires users to purchase a brand new storage arrays at exorbitant costs, even when the old array still meets current data requirements. However, this is not the only option.

Storage arrays can be repurposed, and the life of a legacy system can be extended as long as it continues to meet data requirements. Storage arrays should only be replaced when they no longer meet data requirements. Want to start repurposing your hardware like Google does? Here are three ideas for repurposing legacy storage equipment:

1. Disaster Recovery: Replacing a legacy production system gives storage managers a great opportunity to beef up the disaster recovery plan. Often, upgrades made in production need to be matched at disaster recovery to ensure all critical applications are properly protected. Alternative storage vendors can provide equipment, but can also help with data migration.

2. Archive Capacity: Legacy equipment can be repurposed as an archive target for low-performance data with long retention periods. Swapping fibre channel for SATA high-capacity disks is one way to breathe new life into a storage array.

3. Consolidation: Often, your existing disk drives can be repurposed and consolidated into larger systems. Depending on the upgrade path of your current storage array, the disks may meet increased performance demands when housed in a newer storage array.

Avoid purchasing a new system that costs between $50,000 and $500,000. Storage vendors like Reliant Technology are here to help you repurpose as much of your current data hardware as possible while increasing your savings.

Need help planning or additional information? Talk to a dedicated Reliant Storage Specialist today to get expert advice and ensure you have the storage you need at a price you can afford.

For more information on Google’s cost-reduction strategies, visit http://www.google.com/about/datacenters/ecosystem.html#reuse

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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.