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This paper highlights the growing importance of storage energy consumption in a typical data center, and asserts that storage energy research should drive towards a vision of energy proportionality for achieving significant energy savings. The authors' analysis of real-world enterprise workloads shows a potential energy reduction of 40-75% using an ideally proportional system. They then present a preliminary analysis of appropriate techniques to achieve proportionality, chosen to match both application requirements and workload characteristics. Based on the techniques they have identified, they believe that energy proportionality is achievable in storage systems at a time scale that will make sense in real world environments.
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