The data center is going green and storage vendors are squeezing it for all it's worth. Research from industry firm Gartner predicts that by the end of 2008, nearly 50 percent of data centers worldwide will not have sufficient power and cooling to support high density storage, server and network gear.

Pillar Data took advantage of this trend to develop what it calls an Efficiency Quotient (EQ) calculation for its equipment. The EQ consists of capacity in gigabytes times performance measured in I/Os per second divided by power consumption in watts times square meters of space or Capacity x Performance / Power x Space.

Of course, the company has compared its Ax 500 to arrays from its closest competitors, EMC and Network Appliance and showed that using the EQ the Ax 500 more than doubles the EQ of EMC’s Clariion CX3 Model 40 and that of NetApp’s FAS3050 Cluster.

3PAR launched a Carbon Neutral Storage program in which for every terabyte of capacity it sells this year, the company will purchase equivalent carbon credits to offset the emissions of the disk drives required to deliver that capacity. The company’s Carbon Neutral Storage program will fund clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions and purchase Terrapass carbon offset credits.

Copan has already established itself as a leader in energy consumption with its Revolution 200 array, which only spins disks when data is needed. The Revolution 200 uses a technology called Massive Array of Idle Disks, which only powers on those disks that contain data that is requested by a specific application. The disks are then powered off when they are not needed, significantly reducing the power consumed by the storage array.

Brocade makes the argument that its switches consume less power to operate than those of its main competitor Cisco. You can compare the wattage output yourself.

Not to be left out, EMC late last year announced a set of Energy Efficiency Services and an EMC Power Calculator, that lets users assess their energy consumption requirements. The Power Calculator, like so much that EMC does, only works with EMC storage gear.

Energy consumption in the data center is indeed a huge concern for IT and data center managers. Research shows that by 2011, more than 30 percent of data center budgets will be allocated to environmental costs and that in 2005, more than $6 million was spent powering data centers.