Mobility Investigate

An Analysis of Hard Drive Energy Consumption

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Executive Summary

The increasing storage capacity and necessary redundancy of data centers and other large-scale IT facilities has drawn attention to the issue of reducing the power consumption of hard drives. This work comprehensively investigates the power consumption of hard drives to determine typical runtime power profiles. The paper has instrumented at a fine-grained level and present the findings which show that the energy consumed by the electronics of a drive is just as important as the mechanical energy consumption; the energy required to access data is affected by physical location on a drive; and the size of data transfers has measurable effect on power consumption.

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