IBM expands green IT offerings

IBM has expanded its efforts to deliver energy efficiency technologies to government agencies with the announcement of new services, technologies and financing as part of the second phase of its Project Big Green initiative.

IBM launched Project Big Green last year and committed $1 billion to deliver technologies that help organizations improve the energy efficiency of their data centers.

At the time of the launch, the company introduced the IBM Scalable Modular Data Center, a pre-configured 500- or 1,000-square-foot data center solution with energy efficient technologies that can be implemented in eight to 12 weeks and is 15 percent less expensive than traditional data center builds, IBM officials said.

Now IBM has added three more modular designs that are ready for immediate deployment anywhere in the world. For large global enterprises to small organizations, the new modular data centers can reduce energy consumption by as much as 50 percent, officials said. They are:
  • Enterprise Modular Data Center (EMDC) ' an enterprise-class, so-called shrink-wrapped data center standardized between 5,000 square feet and 20,000 square feet. A standardized approach lets organizations bring new data centers online three to six months sooner than a custom-designed version, IBM said. By building in smaller, standardized modules, clients can match their capital and operational costs to their information technology needs over time. Each EMDC is designed to achieve the world's highest ratings for energy leadership, as determined by the Green Grid, an industry group focused on data center energy efficiency.
  • Portable Modular Data Center (PMDC) provides a fully functional data center in a pod-like form with a complete physical infrastructure for fire suppression, cooling systems and remote monitoring. It also has all the elements of the secure operating environments found in traditional, raised-floor data centers, including protection from fire, smoke, humidity, condensation and temperature changes. The PMDC can be shipped and dropped into any environment. It supports an open architecture and can support multiple vendors and systems.
  • Modular High Density Zone (MHDZ) is a 200-square-foot modular system combining power and cooling with high-density servers to enable existing data centers to deploy new technology without disrupting operations. The MHDZ can be deployed in two to three months, providing as much as 35 percent cost savings compared to building the same capability in a new data center, IBM said.

IBM researchers continue to develop new technologies that pave the way for greener data centers, officials said. For example, IBM scientists have developed a method to cool computer chips that have circuits and components stacked on top of each other with tiny rivers of water, an advance that promises to significantly reduce energy consumed by data centers. A prototype that integrated the cooling system into the 3-D chips by piping water directly between layers in the stack was demonstrated recently in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Berlin.

IBM storage systems researchers are also studying ways to measure power utilization on the IT workload to help users with data center planning. Ultimately, the scientists expect to integrate these new technologies into storage management tools for real-time power consumption management.

IBM also announced new software for its storage virtualization system, IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) 4.3, which improves the flexibility and responsiveness of IT infrastructures by creating consolidated, virtual pools of information across the enterprise.

In addition, IBM announced three new energy efficient services to help clients with data center storage and virtualization needs. They include IBM Server Optimization and Integration Services for VMware server virtualization; IBM Storage Optimization and Integration Services for process excellence; and IBM zDMF, new data mobility host-based software that lets users migrate data more efficiently without disruption across major computing platforms.

IBM Global Financing unveiled a customized, all inclusive financial package for energy efficient IT services, infrastructure and business transformation projects.

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