How to make data storage 75% more efficient

How to make data storage 75% more efficient
May 14

One of the reasons why services like Facebook are so popular is their high performance; now that you’re thinking about it, you’re probably starting to realize that delays and lags are mostly absent on that site, as well as on other popular social networking platforms. Were delays more common, it is unlikely that Facebook would have become the giant it is today. With popularity comes the challenge of always increasing productivity as quickly and effectively as possible.


Both extensive and intensive methods are used to increase productivity. This can be a problem, as even small companies can spend lots of money on optimizing their network. Even at a small scale optimization, when properly performed, can save millions of dollars.

Facebook spends a lot of time thinking of ways to increase the efficiency of its equipment and software (both local and cloud). Earlier this year, Facebook’s team developed an interesting plan for optimization, and it has been very effective.


For example, Facebook designed and built two data centers with the aim of preserving all user photos and videos, and delivering quality service to the corresponding traffic. Since these “cold storage” data centers were created to solve a limited set of problems, the team was able to utilize a large number of systems with lower energy consumption and less-expensive storage equipment.


The company began to use a relatively simple, effective way to store media files. Thus, each image from Facebook users is stored in multiple copies. Copies are stored in the main data center, and in the “cold storage” center as well.

In this system, newer, more popular files are stored with a large number of copies in "hot" data centers. The main function of a “cold storage" system is to make sure that all files are always available at any time.


Since “cold storage” centers typically process relatively unpopular files, Facebook’s engineers decided to do without backup emergency generators. This was a great way to save money.


Cold storage systems are a slightly modified version of Open Vault, the standard storage system developed under the Open Compute Project. It’s important to note that in this system only one hard disk is used at a time.


Special software monitors each of the disks, including the one that is needed at the moment. Thus, the "cold" data storage systems consume the energy required for the simultaneous operation of only 6% of all hard drives that work in the system. As a result, it consumes only 25% of the energy used by traditional storage systems, in which all of the hard drives are operating simultaneously. This allows the data center to use one section of Open Rack power instead of three. Also it uses 5 power supplies instead of 7.


Archer Software has a long history of successfully implementing outsourcing solutions. You can see some of our case studies here. Our history includes several successful collaborations with companies of all sizes. We can take care of common routines like UI development, Business Logic layer and API updates, integration and updating hardware connectivity layer, technical documentation, and auto-tests support, leaving your team to focus on the research and science part of the project which helped them cover their strategic plan faster and with much less “technical debt” in the project’s codebase.

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