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Green Computing

OK, so the tech industry had been hyping green gear well before 2007, but this year the vendors finally formed the committees that will elect the subcommittees that will vote on a board which will select a chairman to choose the stationaries that could be used to write down the minutes for getting something done.

The Green Grid became an an official organization (although that didn't stop it from pumping the press well before it even created a charter). When the big names Intel and Microsoft joined the crew, most of the industry followed step — and oh, how the cup of data center efficiency white papers doth overflow. Assuming you pay the annual fee, of course. Even when rescuing mother nature there's no such thing as a free lunch.

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) (gesundheit) created a matching pair of coalitions too. There's the SNIA Green Storage Initiative and the SNIA Green Storage Working Group. The difference being one develops tutorials and educational materials, while the other works on metrics. Also, their slow pitch baseball teams meet at at different restaurants after games.

We'll also give a nod to the Intel and Google-led Climate Savers Computing Initiative. It's backed by the usual gang of Silicon Valley suspects, but has a pretty reasonable aim. The group is dedicated to driving demand for better, cheaper power supply units. The members have pledged to produce and purchase PCs with 80 per cent efficient power supplies between July 2007 and 2008, and will up that to 85 per cent through June 2009. Similar rules apply for servers.

IBM's Mainframe Assault

It's good to be the king, but start swinging your scepter at a few too many heads, and the serfs start whispering "Magna Carta".

IBM has sat on the mainframe throne since...well, since. The US government has been keen on watching Big Blue's behavior in the market, but antitrust rulings against the company were shelved in 2001, when all the mainframe competitors jumped out of the market.

Now the small-scale IBM emulators and resellers are accusing the hardware giant of returning to its anti-competitive ways.

Platform Solutions Inc (PSI) was sued by IBM for patent infringement in February. The start-up returned fire with a countersuit accusing Big Blue of abusing its mainframe monopoly to keep competitors out of the market. Another upstart mainframe house, T3 Technologies, is asking to to join the countersuit as well.

Meanwhile, the leading IBM mainframe reseller QSGI says it's going to leave the business because of a "leading OEM" killing its ability to reconfigure systems for customers. The company says it's reaching out to this (rather IBMish-sounding) OEM to resolve the issue, but may file an antitrust lawsuit if things don't progress as hoped.

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