Monitor power as cold storage surges
Monday, Jun 24th 2013

While it is debatable that cold storage solutions ever hit a low point, a recent research report from IDC indicated that cold storage adoption is picking up. As more companies utilize cold storage, however, there will be a growing need for tools that allow administrators to effectively monitor power, temperature and humidity in efforts to ensure environmental conditions remain optimal.

"As the perceived value of data increases, more data will be kept for longer periods of time, placing tremendous burden on IT infrastructures and budgets," said Dan Iacono, research director of storage at IDC. "The willingness to sacrifice online storage response times to a range of seconds, minutes or a few hours to dramatically reduce storage capacity costs has created a new and emerging cold storage market."

The IDC report coupled with other industry trends led VentureBeat contributor Chitra Rakesh to posit whether cold storage was popular again. The IDC report also emphasized that one of the most critical data center needs is effective power management, which supported its prediction that the energy-efficient data storage solutions market will exceed $25 billion by 2016.

Cold storage developments
While cold storage is increasingly being used in data center environments, it has long been utilized for food storage. Regardless of the direct purpose of cold storage solutions, it remains important to engage in power, humidity and temperature monitoring. A recent Packaging Europe article detailed how the primary cause of lift truck equipment failure is condensation formed from extreme temperature swings that can result from people and equipment coming in and out of facilities. When temperatures fluctuate in cold storage environments, moisture can form that prevents electronics, electro-mechanical components and wiring to malfunction or fail. This helps to emphasize how important it is to implement both humidity monitoring and environmental control systems that can effectively keep conditions inside the facility consistent.

According to the source, automating freezer warehouses and keeping lift trucks inside the freezer facility can help businesses reduce energy consumption by up to 80 percent. Pairing these sorts of strategic approaches with effective monitoring solutions can truly transform the level of efficiency a business reaches. Such an approach can also enable organizations to reduce labor costs by as much as 70 percent, and with modern energy, property and labor costs constantly on the rise, this could make a dramatic difference in the level of success a cold storage facility achieves.