April 23, 2008

Web 2.0 Companies - Meet iDataPlex

The Wall Street Journal reports that a new class of servers from IBM called iDataPlex,  designed specifically for the kinds of mega Intel-rack data centers used by Web 2.0 companies, can substantially reduce server costs and deliver more computing capability is less space and with less power required.

The iDataPlex system more than doubles the number of systems that can run in a single IBM rack, uses 40 percent less power while increasing the amount of computing capacity by a factor of five, can be outfitted with a liquid cooled wall on the back of the system to run at "room temperature" with no air conditioning required, and uses industry standard components as well as open source software such as Linux to lower costs.

Early testers include Yahoo Inc.  "Yahoo! relies on ingenuity and technology to reduce our dependence upon energy. Many of our data centers utilize 'green energy' such as passive cooling to reduce our impact," said Laurie Mann, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Operations, Yahoo!. "We continue to look for ways to maximize our resources. Yahoo! appreciates the direction IBM is moving in with iDataPlex and its commitment to drive greater power efficiency and density in the datacenter."

by Will Runyon April 23, 2008 in Design, Energy Efficiency, Power & Cooling
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April 22, 2008

Innovating on Earth Day

IBM recently challenged its employees to participate in a video contest about ways they're innovating with clients, in the workplace and in their homes and communities on the issues of energy and the environment.  Hundreds of videos from 27 countries were submitted.  Here's the winner.  Ten second-prize winners are also posted on YouTube.

by Will Runyon April 22, 2008 in Who's Who
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April 20, 2008

Virtualization Strategy

With all due credit to Scott Adams.


by Will Runyon April 20, 2008 in Energy Efficiency, Virtualization
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April 09, 2008

Back to the Future

Remember water-cooled mainframes?  Well, water is still among the best ways to cool large systems.  But now it makes more sense to cool systems with water as close to the heat as possible.  IBM has just announced a new Power Systems UNIX server, the Power 575, nicknamed "Hydro-Cluster," that pipes water to the chip itself, vastly reducing power and cooling requirements.

According to CNET, "A substantial part of the decrease in power consumption is due to a water cooling system that brings in chilled water from the outside, runs it through copper plates located above individual processors to absorb heat, and then draws the water out so it can expel the heat outside of the computer.

By getting rid of heat in this manner, the air conditioning requirements are greatly reduced for the "hydro cluster" 575. Air conditioning can account for roughly half of the power consumed by data centers. Conversely, instead of cutting electricity consumption, IBM, or one of its customers, could squeeze in more computing power into the same room and keep the air conditioning constant."

The new POWER6 "Hydro-Cluster" supercomputer, the Power 575, is designed to solve challenging problems in fields such as energy, aerospace and weather modeling. The  system is another breakthrough in green IT.  In addition to its advance water-cooling, it packs 448 processor cores per rack and delivers nearly five times the performance and more than three times the energy efficiency of its predecessor, IBM's POWER5+™ processor-based p575 supercomputer.

by Will Runyon April 9, 2008 in Design, Energy Efficiency, Power & Cooling
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April 04, 2008

Build a Data Center, Heat the Town Pool

That's what a new data center in Zurich, Switzerland will do with its 2,800 megawatts of excess heat - keep swimmers warm by reusing about 90 percent of the electricity needed to run the data center by reclaiming the heat produced, and save 130 tons of CO2 emissions in the process.  This is one of the three latest green data center projects that IBM is building as part of its Project Big Green initiative.

The other two data centers are being built for kika/Leiner, a green furniture company in St. Polten, Austria; and Telecom Egypt in Cairo.

Green_data_center_2 kika/Leiner's data center is a free-standing cube with about 1,000 square feet of IT space that fulfills all state-of-the-art technical security requirements of a data center. It is locked, has no windows, is equipped with an automatic fire-extinguishing system, and is protected against flooding. The data center does not contain any working space and entrance is restricted. Free cooling will be used in cold months, meaning the air conditioning for the data center will come directly from the cold outside air. Only on warm days will the data center be automatically cooled.

The data center features racks with the newest IBM BladeCenter technology. IBM BladeCenter integrates servers, networks, storage and business applications in highly efficient one-inch systems that sit in a rack like books in a shelf.  Hot air is reduced to room temperature by water-cooled heat exchangers attached to the BladeCenter racks. The high density area covers about a third of the data center IT space and, if required, can be extended. Another third of the data center is space for conventional computing servers with low heat emissions. The last third will remain empty for future expansion.

With more than 10 million customers, Telecom Egypt is the country's largest telecom company.  According to Khaled Marmoush, it's CIO, "Telecom Egypt was convinced that IBM was the best choice because of IBM's standards and methodologies and the experience of the IBM team who worked as a trusted consultant.  IBM provided not only the information about data centers that Telecom Egypt was looking for, but also the technologies and services that are used in today's data centers."

by Will Runyon April 4, 2008 in Design, Energy Efficiency, Power & Cooling, Services, Who's Who
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