Green Data Project launched

The Green Data Project (GDP) has been launched to counter misleading information about green storage from suppliers. The project's website states that 'technology greening is inextricably linked to sound data management. Green IT begins with Green Data.' This is the strategic response to green datacentre issues; tinkering with hardware and storage provisioning is merely tactical. Toigo has written in his blog that the GDP "is the first international community of vendors, integrators and consumers seeking to tackle the root cause of data center power demand growth strategically: through data management. Everybody keeps talking about doing things like re-driving arrays with more capacious disk, or playing shell games with reserved-but-not-allocated space on disk (thin provisioning), or putting data in a virtual trash compactor (de-duplication), as though these tactics will green IT operations. They are only tactical measures and will only buy time while companies implement data hygiene and data management/archiving practices." The project is supported by two organisations: The Data Management Institute (DMI) and Archive In effect though there is only one organisation behind it as the Archive (AMO) was launched by the Data Management Institute and Toigo Partners International (TPI) in July this year, as "a web-based community and information portal for consumers and vendors of electronic data archive technology. It was founded by the Data Management Institute to aid in providing context and clarity in the world of archive technology." A reason for founding AMO was that users "were not getting actionable information from media sources and vendor marketing materials to facilitate their needs." In other words, a similar distrust of vendor-created materials lay behind its founding as that underpinning the GPD. The DMI is an information portal launched in 2003 by Jon William Toigo, its current chairman, and created to 'establish a new discipline within the IT field: Data Management.' In effect the GDP is another Toigo-created web-based information portal. The belief behind it is 'that the root cause of accelerating power utilisation is the generally poor state of data management in most firms. Such unmanaged data:
  • Creates inefficiencies in business operations and IT investments,
  • Compromises risk management programs to secure and protect information assets,
  • Drives the acquisition of storage capacity in the form of disk arrays and other power hungry equipment, increasing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) requirements and in the process, increasing the carbon footprint of contemporary datacentre operations,
  • Compromises the compliance of organisations with legal and regulatory requirements associated with digital information.
The GDP joins other efforts to green datacentres: The Green Grid, Sun's Open, and BluArc's Lean and Green initiative. None of these are focused on the development of best practices for greening datacentre operations. Also Toigo thinks many vendor marketing departments are trying to "recontextualize their wares as 'green' - which they are not." This is the void that the GDP aims to fill as a community site. The hope is that datacentre users will join the GDP and help produce data management best practice guidelines that will substantially improve the archiving of old information offline and thus significantly cut the amount of online storage hardware. Everyone who manages, protects, or processes digital information can join in the project; there is no joining fee.

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