Toshiba Small Form Factor Disk Drive White Paper

The Economic Power of Lower Power Consumption without Sacrificing Capacity
You don’t have to be an advocate for combating global warming to care about how much energy the systems in your data center consume. The simple profit-and-loss economics of running your business will tell you all you need to know: When your computers use less energy, they cost less to operate which increases your company’s profits. It does not get any simpler than that. However, the progress of technology has worked against that basic model. While today’s computers offer higher processor speeds and more memory at a lower acquisition cost than ever before, they cost much more to operate. While newer server-class computers are smaller and more powerful than previous models, the increased processing power, larger memory size, higher storage capacity, and other peripheral devices require more electricity to operate. In addition, the smaller size and greater power of recent server-class computers have enabled IT managers to easily fulfill escalating user access demand by increasing the number of servers housed in their data centers. The power consumption problem is not confined to applications servers. Advances in system and network design have allowed mass storage to exist within the network domain; this storage is external to the servers and PCs they service. These storage devices also rely on today’s very powerful, but energy-consuming and heat-producing processors and disk drives. The energy problem is further compounded by network gateway and firewall devices, such as routers, switches and security appliances of various types, all which contain components using newer and higher energy-consuming technologies. Energy consumption and heat generation are not new problems for the computer industry. Processor, memory, and disk drive designers and engineers have consistently found methods to reduce the energy requirements and heat dissipation characteristics of their products, even as the computing performance and capacity points have increased. However, these energy advancements have been off-set by accelerating user demand, as well as heightened security needs and network complexity, causing dramatic increases in the demand for computer processing power and storage capacity, which in turn drives the need for more energy. Expedient solutions to reduce the number of servers, network appliances and PCs, or lowering the processing power and storage capacities of computers are currently not available. That leaves open the question of how IT managers can balance rising energy consumption and heat generation while controlling the costs associated with their managing. One answer is to install alternative equipment that consumes less energy and produces less heat, but given these increases in computing power and capacity demands, there are limited available options. A Workable Solution Toshiba was the first hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer to have addressed this issue. Since 20041, Toshiba has devised techniques to reduce power consumption and dissipated heat. Toshiba’s fourth generation 2.5inch Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) HDD uses smaller motors and drive arm actuators, which require less energy to operate, emit less heat and provide equivalent performance as larger, 3.5-inch form factor HDDs. Toshiba’s latest 2.5-inch, high-performance SAS HDD also offers capacities up to 600GB2, which matches the highest storage capacity available in today’s 3.5-inch high-performance HDDs.


making a substantial difference in. The overall current requirement of the 2. The chart in Figure 1 shows the power consumption requirements of 3. chassis design.5-inch. It is clear that the smaller form factor drive consumes substantially less power whether measured in idle mode or while transferring data. the cost increases to more than $122 per drive for the same operating time period. enterprise-class SAS HDDs. A chassis designed with sufficient cubic volume for 16 3. the cost 2 . or across a population of desktop PCs. the 2.5-inch drive uses 53 percent less power.The small form factor packaging has enabled major breakthroughs in computer chassis design because the 2. and the depth is 31 percent smaller. might be redesigned to hold 48 or more 2.5-inch hard disk drives without any increase to the overall chassis size. When performing 220 I/O instructions per second. Although the power consumed by one drive may not seem significant.5-inch format occupies a smaller footprint. the drive is 41 percent shorter.5-inch 15K hard disk drive were used.5-inch drives.5-inch drives in the same space as larger.5-inch form factor disk drive is smaller in every dimension than 3.5-inch drives. If a 3. which is calculated at $57. The 2.5-inch form factor drive requires 70 percent less power over its 3. The smaller. The resulting overall cubic volume is reduced by 72 percent. the power savings made possible by smaller form factor drives is substantial. Figure 2 shows the operating cost of one HDD running continuously for five years.5-inch footprint also enables enclosures that hold more 2. the 2.5-inch drive is also less. Assuming 1.673. 3. when the drive-level power consumption is multiplied by the number of drives housed in a modern data center.5-inch drives. In height. and opportunity for.5 and 2.5-inch counterpart.000 disk drives were operating over the same time period. During idle. 2. especially in 12 volt chassis designs. the width is 31 percent narrower.

system/component/options availability. however.5-inch hard disk drives would equate to $117.5-inch models. 3 Based on current PG&E costs as of April 2010. Actual formatted capacity may vary. lower heat dissipation. Inc. pre-installed software applications.000.824 bytes.741.5-inch hard drives with Toshiba’s 2. However energy and cost savings are measured. 30 reports capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 2 = 1. the information. Conclusion The business opportunity to save money.000 bytes using powers of 10. reduce power consumption and help the environment by using less energy is attainable by replacing 3. is subject to change without notice. 3. that will translate to more computing power for a given amount of space.000. the highest capacity offered by any enterprise-class hard disk drive in today’s market. Capacity Is a Concern No More For many years. Toshiba’s MBF drive series offers capacities up to 600GB2. Other costs and energy use attributed to air conditioning and other cooling solutions will also decrease. While the 600GB capacity point was one of the final remaining features where 3. All rights reserved. configurations. the MBF has proven this no longer to be the case. Toshiba further demonstrates its leadership in the low power design characteristics of both the MBE and MBF drives to reduce energy consumption. and therefore shows less storage capacity. 3 . including 3. which translates into lower operating and cooling costs. and provide additional benefits of improved acoustic performance over larger form factor 3. Toshiba’s current generation 2. equipment using 2. While Toshiba has made every effort at the time of publication to ensure the accuracy of the information provided herein. thereby increasing computing power without increasing operating power requirements or energy costs.5-inch hard drives offered higher capacities as compared to 2.073. equipment chassis will be redesigned to offer more spaceefficient solutions.5-inch small form factor (SFF) hard drives in the enterprise segment.5-inch hard drives. providing the opportunity to increase the number of drives used in a given space. or media content. The 6Gb/sec SAS interface used on the MBE and MBF series provides increased performance associated with the Serial Attached SCSI standard.savings from using smaller form factor.5-inch SFF SAS hard disk drives support capacities ranging from 73GB to 600GB and are available in either the MBE. including specifications. Hard drive form factors can therefore have a significance financial impact to the bottom line of any business. 2. 10K RPM or MBF 15K RPM speeds. Ultimately. Available storage capacity will also be less if the computer includes one or more pre-installed operating systems. 1 Drives were developed by Fujitsu prior to 2010.5-inch drives had an advantage. where Toshiba has served as a leader in developing SAS technologies through its membership in the SCSI Trade Association.5-inch form factor Toshiba SAS hard disk drives cut energy usage by about one-third and reduce the direct energy costs accordingly. Toshiba is dedicated to the design and manufacture of superior products that offer tangible benefits to their users as well as provide solutions that contribute to a healthier environment. As systems designers adopt smaller form factor hard drives. A computer operating system. Toshiba’s latest offerings demonstrate that this is no longer the case. ©2011 Toshiba America Information Systems.5-inch SAS hard drives.000. They are also more space-efficient. The Toshiba drives consume less energy and emit less heat. 2 One Gigabyte (1GB) means 109 = 1. with benefits of lower power consumption and reduced energy costs.