May 23, 2007

Who would have guessed?

On May 10, IBM announced Project Big Green which is focused on helping customers to solve the end-to-end data center energy challenge. It includes:

  • IBM offerings to provide leadership energy efficient information technology (servers, storage),
  • Services to help the clients get the facts around their total energy use for both the data center infrastructure and their IT equipment and design,
  • A green grid supported metric to provide a standard of data center energy efficiency comparison,
  • Services and offerings to build new or retrofit green data centers and,
  • Tivoli Management systems that link the data center infrastructure to the IT technology including ability for Tivoli to use energy-based policy to automate things like workload consolidation and turning off unused IT equipment during low computing demand periods and bringing them  back on stream when demand returns.

In addition to the IBM announcements, Anixter, Eaton, Emerson/Liebert, GE, and Schneider/APC issued joint press releases with IBM, in support of Project Big Green or the IBM Energy Efficiency Initiative. They are each rolling out their own solutions to drive improved energy efficiency across their cooling and electrical offerings.

One final piece to the announcement included the Energy Efficiency Incentive Finder. The finder is an open systems based tool that will provide clients with a one stop shop to find government and energy utility incentives and programs that promote energy anywhere in the world that they have a data center. The tool should be available in 3Q2007 after the utility companies and governments around the world have had a chance to populate it with their programs.

Although IBM expected this to be of interest to the data center community… what is surprising is the reaction from the broader community. Within four hours of the announcement more then 250 articles had been published around the world. I suspect that part of this interest is related to the Gore global warming movement and wide interest in making the planet a better place to live for both ourselves and future generations. IBM estimated that energy savings on a typical 25,000 sq foot data center is equal to about $1.1M per year (at $0.12/Kw-hr) or about 5.2 Million pounds of coal that would not have to be used for power generation.

That is like taking about 920 cars off the road……. permanently. Maybe we should start a “Data center to save the planet” movement.

by Steve Sams May 23, 2007 in Assessments, Design, Energy Efficiency, Power & Cooling, Services


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