Samsung: Solid State Drive’s (SSD’s) are Green

Samsung have an interesting section on their GreenMemory site about Solid State Drives and how they are considerably Greener than traditional HDD’s.

This rings true with me because my own laptop has an SSD instead of a HDD and I find that it out-performs my desktop for some applications, it runs cold (and quiet as it doesn’t need a fan) and the battery life is better than any laptop I have owned to date.

I caught up with them at the recent Sapphire Now conference where they kindly led me through a demo, showing exactly how much better SSD’s perform compared to HDD’s..

Here’s a transcription of the demo:

Tom Raftery: Hi, everyone! Welcome to GreenMonk TV. I?m at the Sapphire Now conference in Orlando and I?m with Steven Peng from Samsung. Steven is demoing a new way of looking at SSD?s, solid-state disks and some interesting metrics around the solid-state drives. Steven can you tell me why you are telling me that solid-state drives are Green?

Steven Peng: Yes, solid-state drive doesn?t have a moving part by nature, you can save more power of a traditional hard disk drive and you can say that?s the reason that it is Green.

Tom Raftery: Okay. So you have numbers here, you can talk to around that both in terms of cost and in terms of throughput. Can you talk us through some of those?

Steven Peng: Of course, welcome to our Green SSD versus HDD demo. And a lot of people state the SSD you get cost, it?s too high compared to current technology hard disk drive. However, if you look at a system cost, it actually is the cheapest cost in delivering the performance needed in systems.

So, I have a demo here, I have two identical systems, server systems. If you look at the CPU, the memory configuration, they are identical. However, if you look at the Green SSD system, I have four Samsung MLC SSD drive at 200 gigabytes each, so total capacity is 800 gigabyte. And I can also put two or three 7200 RPM HDD.

So the total capacity is a really comparable to the HDD system here. In this system, I have a 12 high speed 15K SAS HDD, a 300 gigabyte drive capacity each.

So, if you look at two systems, the cost of four SSD drive and 12, 30 gigabyte 15K hard disk drive, the cost is about the same. So, the system costs are same.

Tom Raftery: It is compatible, okay.

Steven Peng: Yeah. So, the interesting area of what about the performance that really tells the system cost difference, right. So the demo here is, we are also running the Benchmarking software, TPC-C and online transaction processing benchmark software and that?s software allows us to know what?s the difference in terms of performance.

If you look at the number here, we recorded in the Green SSD server system, we have 7,000 transaction per second level. If you look at the hard disk drive HDD server system, we only recorded like 1,900 transaction per second level. So, immediately it is about 3X delta.

Tom Raftery: So, it?s significantly faster in terms of performance, but also the amount of watts that are being consumed are considerably lower as well?

Steven Peng: Exactly. So the wattage of a Green SSD system consumption is about 170 watts. If you look at the HDD system, it?s 280 watts. So, you see the delta right there, 60 percent range in power saving per system.

Tom Raftery: And that power saving is coming from a couple of things, I assume, you can tell me if I?m wrong, my assumption would be that a) There is no moving parts as you said earlier but also, b) There is no heat being generated or less heat being generated by the SSD than the hard drive, would that be right?

Steven Peng: Yeah, indeed. Since SSD, the system you generate less heat you don?t need the fan to spin faster and also you can imagine in the data center, you can spend less cooling cost.

Tom Raftery: Cool, so faster performance, compatible pricing and lower operating cost in terms of power usage.

Steven Peng: Right. So, we suggest to people when you are doing your next IT refresh server system, look into SSD system and that can give you the lowest initial purchasing cost and also the ongoing operating cost saving from the power you know saving payout.

Tom Raftery: Steven, that?s been great. Thanks a million.

Steven Peng: Alright, thank you Tom.

You should follow me on Twitter here


GreenMonk Energy and Sustainability show for Monday January 25th

We had a great show today – almost all positive stories and lots of interaction – see below for the transcript:

Tom Raftery :
Hey all – Monday Jan 25th, show kicking off in 10 mins

Alice :

Fabian :

Tom Raftery :

monkchips :
hello mate. we really need to establish better reminder mechanisms than twitter.
i missed your reminder!
and HELLO!

Tom Raftery :

mikethebee :
How about and alarm clock

monkchips :
is the turtleneck in honour of this week’s tablet?

Tom Raftery :

mikethebee :
Tom wishes his body to ‘disappear’ into the background

Tom Raftery :

monkchips :
to be fair Verdantix has done a stunning job of tracking the carbon accounting firms…
ya think?>
SAS – i really liked their honesty/approach

Tom Raftery :

mikethebee :
And our UK utility has just bumped up the price of the low user tier and reduced the upper usage tier price

Tom Raftery :

marilynpratt :
Wow more funding than Haiti received

Joe :
Great news from Better Place – just such a shame that the Olympics People decided to choose BMW rather than Nissan for the London Olympics, so we aren’t going to see a BetterPlace network in London by 2012…

Tom Raftery :

monkchips :
cathy lloyd? the topless model? 😉

Tom Raftery :

monkchips :

Tom- you should get the show transcribed every week.
get some blog posts out of it.

mikethebee :

I am tagging my green news on twitter with #greenmonk. I hope that will help ppl filter it for this show.

marilynpratt :
++! @monkchips

monkchips :
good show tom!

marilynpratt :

Alice :
All really interesting, thank you very much Tom

Ian B :
Thanks Tom

mikethebee :

Tom Raftery :
Thanks everyone for your time, interest and participation in the comments – always great

Joe :
Cheers Tom


(Lack of) Sustainability in the Mobile industry

I realised recently that although I have referred to the talk I gave in Barcelona on Mobile Sustainability (for the Mobile 2.0 conference) in a couple of posts I never talked about the talk directly here, so now it is time to redress that.

I have posted the slide deck above so you can follow along with the slides above and my explanation below.

Slides 1-3 are simply my introducing the topic and myself (along with my contact details).

I started off with a bit of a background:

  • Slides 4-6 I start to talk about some of the reasons why sustainability is important. Climate change, for example, is real and is recognised as real. Even that last hold-out, the US government, has now admitted it is real and have set up the United States Global Change Research program to study the effects of Climate Change on the US.
  • Slide 7 – New studies show that the impacts of climate change are likely to be worse than we anticipated
  • Slide 8 – The polar ice caps are shrinking far faster than anyone predicted
  • Slide 9 – Climate change is affecting animal populations today
  • Slide 10 – Climate change is affecting the world’s river systems, and thus access to water for many people globally today
  • Slide 11-13 – This is having devastating effects on people in South America, the Middle East, and Asia (and agriculture in Australia and California)
  • Slide 14 – NGO’s are warning that the humanitarian systems, already stretched thin, will be overwhelmed

Then I went on to discuss the business case for sustainability today:

Having set the stage (we need to be more sustainable, and look, there is a strong consensus that there is a business case for it too), I started to bring the talk around to the subject of the Mobile industry:

  • Slide 24 – Quote from Smart 2020 report saying ICTs could deliver emissions reductions of at least 15% by 2020
  • Slide 25 – While there are 1 billion PCs in the world today, and 1.4 billion Internet users, there are 4 billion mobile phone subscriptions
  • Slides 26-29 – Examples of Green handsets from Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. I made the point here that in many cases the ‘Green handsets’ being produced by manufacturers are simply so they can ‘tick that box’ in the annual report. Sony had 57 handsets on their website. 1 was green. Green handsets should be the rule, not the exception.
  • Slides 30-33 – I checked out the websites some of the main mobile operators. 3 have no mention whatsoever (that I could find) of sustainability on their corporate website; the websites of Telefonica and O2 had Sustainability sites but they could both stand a lot of work, while Vodafone’s Sustainability site was the best of the mobile operators which I examined (that’s not to say it couldn’t stand some improvement too!)
  • Slides 34-36 A quick look at some of the Sustainability apps which have been developed for the mobile platform – slim pickings, tbh!

So having shown how poorly this industry is doing in terms of sustainability, I posited a few what-if’s:

  • Slide 38
    What if manufacturers made phones which lasted 6 yrs not 6 months? Rent, not buy?
    What if manufacturers made non-toxic handsets?
    What if manufacturers standardised to usb chargers?
    What if mobile operators switched to e-billing?
  • Slide 39
    What if carriers avoided unnecessary duplication in mobile networks, (would lead to a savings of 300gWh pa in UK alone)
    What if everyone pushed sustainability down supply chain?
    What if developers used mobile platform to build apps which ‘made a difference’?
    What if grid computing client apps were created for mobiles?

Under the “Other” heading go ideas like creating Augmented Reality applications for handsets with sustainability related information, or what if the phone makers included pollution sensors (for example) in handsets. With the ubiquity of handsets and with most handsets having inbuilt Internet access, it wouldn’t be long before realtime information on air quality worldwide would be available. Combine that with an Augmented Reality app so people can visualize live their air quality and you would very quickly see changes in people’s behaviour.

Finally, I concluded with two quotes to show why this is critical:

  • Slide 40 – From the 2007 IPCC Climate Change Synthesis Report [PDF Warning]
    As global average temperature increase exceeds about 3.5 degrees C, model projections suggest significant extinctions (40-70% of species assessed) around the globe.
  • Slide 41 – From the Chair of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri
    If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.

The thing to remember here is that Rajendra Pachauri is a George Bush appointee. He was appointed Chair of the IPCC because his predecessor, Dr. Robert Watson was deemed by the American fossil fuel industry (and in particular ExxonMobil) to be too outspoken.

Rajendra Pachauri and the IPCC’s quotes are the conservative point of view.

Mobile phones are ubiquitous. There are in excess of 4 billion of them. They are now for all intents and purposes hand-held computers, increasingly with an Internet connection. Shame on us all if we don’t leverage this incredible resource in the battle to mitigate the effects of climate change.

UPDATE: After I gave this talk, Vodafone, in conjunction with Accenture, issued a report called Carbon connections: quantifying mobile’s role in tackling climate change [PDF Warning]. In this report Vodafone claim that:

mobile technology could cut Europe’s annual energy bill by at least €43 billion and effect a reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 113Mt CO2e by 2020. This represents 18% of the UK’s annual CO2e output in 2008 and approximately 2.4% of expected EU emissions in 2020.

The report goes on to say that the opportunities for carbon savings come from two main areas – Smart machine-to-machine (M2M) services (Smart Grids, Smart Logistics, Smart Manufacturing and Smart Cities) and Dematerialisation (i.e. video-conferencing, online shopping, etc.).