Feeds

IBM flaunts green credentials

Cool, but efficiently so

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

As part of its sustained PR campaign to persuade the IT industry that it is greener than David Cameron, IBM invited a bunch of tech journalists to see its new, tree-loving data centre at its London HQ this week.

A quick recap: earlier this month, IBM announced that it was going to spend a billion dollars to double its own data centre capacity, but would do so without adding to its carbon footprint. Not through offsetting, but by redesigning data centres with energy efficiency in mind.

This is important from a business perspective as well as for saving the Earth, IBM says, because so much of the money companies spend on IT goes towards powering the stuff. Breaking down the costs of running a data centre can be surprising, according to Steve Sams, IBM's guru of all things to do with data centre design.

"In many cases powering the IT only accounts for 30 per cent of the total power budget. Cooling takes a further 30 per cent, and the UPS could easily account for 20 per cent; more for older models," Sams says.

So, IBM said, it would greenify its customers. In six to eight weeks it would assess and report on the efficiency of your set up, and offer suggestions as to how to improve it.

Marvellous. The firm also announced a raft of green tools and widgets all designed to score maximum points with the environmental lobby, and the accounts department.

And today it offered a tour of its demo site, where it built and tested one of its integrated data centres, complete with tidy cabling, seriously scary aircon, and a multitude of rack mounted blades.

First, the nuts and bolts of it. This is essentially a flat pack data centre: the walls, floor, cooling systems and so on all arrive pre-fabbed and are assembled on site by IBM. Most of the kit can go up in a lift, but some still has to be hoisted around on cranes.

The idea is that a compact data centre can be built in a reasonably small space, and because of the design, be kept cool for a fraction of the cost - both financial and carbon-based - of a traditional server farm.

The whole thing is very sensibly structured, keeping the cold air sealed in where it needs to be, and pumping the hot air out quickly. Keeping cabling all out of the way is another key element of the design, so the raised floors can actually be the air flow passages they are supposed to be.

It is, according to Sams, all about hot air management.

"It is more than a shipping container with some stuff in," he quips, in response to a query about how the offering stacks up against Sun's data centre in-a-box, which Sams describes as "outrageously expensive".

All very impressive. But we did ponder the irony of hearing about all this power saving wizardry while we sat in a room (not the server room, we must add) so ferociously air conditioned, that everyone had to put their jackets on. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.