The green data center topic has even reached the broadcast TV market in TV Technology’s article.
The 'Greening' of the Data Center
by Karl Paulsen, 11.10.2009
A fascinating change is occurring in the IT and data center space that may be extending into the broadcast space given thoughts of hubbing or distributed operations. The emerging concept of the "cloud" is possibly the most prominent trend in the IT industry, with at least one rationale being the "greening of the data center."
Today's growing focus on both green-IT and the cloud is more than just a trend fueled by the watchful CFO eyes. It is clear that green philosophies must be worked into all future business models. An example of approaches to greening up the broadcast facility was previously covered in "Looking Toward the Green Blades of Servers," (Dec. 2, 2008), where I pointed out that many facilities now employ a plethora of discrete PC-based workstations as utilitarian components or communications interface buffers. If the broadcaster looked to blade server technologies for those simpler utility-grade applications, the number of PC-workstations could be boiled down considerably. Blades emphasize compactness and reliability while reducing the physical and the carbon footprints left behind by employing efficient power, cooling and product consolidation.
In a somewhat yet-to-be-recognized outcome, the broadcast server marketplace has adopted a similar attitude through the use of more efficient storage components, consolidation of channels, and improved encoding/decoding system architectures. Over time, a huge reduction occurred in the physical space requirements for both storage components and video serving engines while simultaneously realizing increased performance and storage capacity many fold. Manufacturers have taken a serious look at the green issues in their products, but surprisingly have yet to make it major thrust in their marketing "green," like their data center counterparts have.
Specific broadcasting equipment is mentioned for energy efficiency improvements.
For an historical example, the original Tektronix PDR100 took 5RU of space for four channels and included eight 4 GB RAID drives consuming 750 watts total power. The PVS1000 system took 6RU, plus 3RU of RAID for 8 channels and consumed 430 watts. Adding additional drives in an external array drove the total power consumption to 822 watts. Through evolution, this product line became the Grass Valley K2 platform—taking only 3RU for four channels and a power draw of 500 watts (with 10 internal 300 GB HDD). The newest K2 Summit takes up 2RU and consumes about 300 watts.
Harris' Nexio AMP platform evolved by adding feature sets in a like-chassis footprint, thus improving the green impact from both the space and power consumption perspective. Nexio, originally ASC, then Leitch, was not unlike Tektronix which became the Grass Valley Profile in their concepts of integrated drives and serving engines. Through evolution we have seen these platforms migrate from self contained to discrete components, and then back to self contained products again. Efficiencies gained are dependent upon many undercover green initiative byproducts.
Note this article for TV Technologies was written by Azcar Technologies, a television broadcasting solution provider.