John Harker

New with HUS 100 - Spend Less Money Keeping Idle Drives Spinning

Blog Post created by John Harker Employee on Jun 10, 2014

The dual subjects of “Need for Cost Savings” and “Heat and Power Problems in the Datacenter” are good reasons for moving to reduce system power and cooling costs wherever possible.  Something that is on many people’s minds. One of the ways to do this for storage is to spend less money keeping idle drives spinning. 


That’s why Hitachi has moved to now make MAID technology a standard feature of the HUS 100 family.   The term MAID stands for Massive Array of Idle Disks.  For those interested in reducing power and cooling costs in their data centers the latest release of BOS M software now includes the new power savings plus feature with MAID capabilities.   Power savings plus enhancements enable automatic spin down of disks when not in use and automatic spin disk up upon application I/O.  This enables energy savings of up to 50% or more in normal production environments and is a cost savings idea for infrequently accessed data.  The new power savings plus feature offers:


  • Automated spin-down and spin-up linked to IO frequency of selected RAID groups
  • Operates transparently to the application host servers
  • Customer installable, simple online management
  • No application scripting required
  • Can be used for all disk drive types
  • Now included in BOS-M for the HUS 100 with no extra licensing charges


In operation, power savings plus reduces power consumption of storage systems by automatically spinning down idle disk drives when lack of I/O is detected.  Lack of I/O is based on user-configurable timeout period.   Then when the data in the spun down drives received a request for access (I/O), the drive is automatically spin up.  Spun down, the drive fully stop the rotation of the platter.  The reduction of power consumption on the spun down drives is between 35% and 58% depending on the type and configuration of the drives.  Of course this operation introduces a delay in first I/O access of a spun down drive, therefore it’s recommended  to only spin down drives where occasional slower access time is acceptable.  There is no impact on performance once drive is spun-up and the system performs automatic ongoing health checks on spun down drives to ensure reliability   


Power savings plus is most usefully used for backup or archival storage, or hierarchical life cycle operations, as for example Masaryk University did using Symantec Storage Foundation.  While disk spin down/off power savings is not generally something customers want for an entire subsystem, it is a valuable option for further cost savings over time.  And the power savings plus feature can be enabled for some or all of the disk drives as desired.  


Another reason to take a look at the Hitachi Unified Storage 100 family as a consolidation and cost savings tool..!