Green

GreenBeat: New startup Locust could crush traditional data storage

Emerging from stealth mode today at GreenBeat 2009, Locust Storage, has developed 90 to 95 percent efficiency in data center energy consumption. CEO Seth Georgion, hailing from the oil and gas industry, says that, like so many game changing ideas, this one was drafted on a cocktail napkin. That was eight months ago.

As a data center manager for an oil and gas concern, Georgion was working in a field where a single survey could contain up to 60 petabytes of information. To put that in perspective, Facebook occupies a single petabyte of photo data. The center drew an enormous amount of power, all discs spinning all the time. Of course, data was only being accessed a small fraction of the time the facility operated; most of the power drawn was simply wasteful. Georgion began to realize there was a better way… if only somebody could engineer it.

So, during free time, Georgion began the design work for Locust storage drives. Using both flash memory and spinning discs, the innovation is in the software controls and the ability of the disc to turn on and off on-demand. They are powered by Ethernet cable and as stated, draw only 5 to 10 percent of the power that traditional systems demand.

Georgion estimates that a medium sized data storage facility could save 400 kilowatts of steady load by switching entirely to his Locust drives, which last years longer than competing technologies. Since they operate partly in the solid state and are only generating heat when data is accessed (as opposed to full-time) HVAC requirements would be substantially lower as well.

Terry Klein, formerly of Dell, is on the board of directors.  Batteries are supplied by Inspired Energy, but that’s not an exclusive deal and Georgion says, “We are on the market for something more specialized, maybe moving to super capacitors for the commercial products.”

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