Costs to power and cool enterprise storage worldwide are likely to level off in the 2013-2014 timeframe, according to market research and analysis firm IDC.
The research body said temporary plateau in storage power and cooling costs will be brought about by several key trends: the migration to smaller (2.5in.), more energy efficient enterprise-class hard disk drives (HDDs); greater utilisation of existing storage capacity; and the continued adoption of solid state drives (SSDs) and various other storage efficiency technologies.
IDC group vice president of storage systems David Reinsel said the economic straits of 2008 and 2009 modified the attitudes and behaviors of IT managers and system OEMs, greatly accelerating interest in and the adoption of more cost-efficient storage strategies.
"While the direction of these efforts is good, and the inflection point toward lower costs is notable, it’s not likely the trend will be sustainable," Reinsel said.
"Once the migration to cost-efficient hardware and strategies is complete, the steady expansion in capacity will result in renewed growth in energy costs."
The market researcher said enterprise storage remained a key area of investment for CIOs and IT managers throughout the economic downturn, driven by the continuous pressure to store more and more data.
Annual capacity shipments within enterprise storage (external) increased 38% year-over-year in 2009, while shipments of HDDs into external enterprise storage increased by 10% year over year.
The firm said the combined technologies of smaller form factor HDDs and low-power SSDs, and SATA drives will play a critical part in slowing the growth in enterprise storage power and cooling costs, and the associated carbon footprint, over the next several years.