Feeds

IBM chills sealed data center with outside air

Ambient air water tank cooling

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

If you want to be a player in cloud computing, you have to build data centers. Server maker IBM probably thinks it will sell a lot more internal cloud than external cloud, but it realized that customers will want a mix of public and hosted cloud infrastructure to run their workloads. Hence, IBM has shelled out $362m to build a data center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, a facility dedicated to supporting customers who want to use Big Blue's CloudBurst cloud services.

IBM owns more than 450 data centers worldwide, and it has more than 8 million square feet of raised floor data center space under its management, according to Joe Dzaluk, vice president of infrastructure at the company's Global Technology Services division. So while this new data center in Carolina will eventually scale to over 100,000 square feet - fairly large by data center standards - it is but a drop in the Big Blue bucket.

The company started construction of the RTP data center back in August 2008 and had people moving in gear in 15 months, compared to the 18 to 24 months it usually takes, says Dzaluk. IBM took an existing facility and renovated it rather than building a new structure, keeping 95 per cent of the original building's shell and recycling 90 per cent of the stuff it ripped out.

In keeping with its green theme, 20 percent of the materials used to upgrade the facility came from recycled products. The carbon footprint associated with the construction of the data center was 50 per cent lower than it might have been had Big Blue just raised a new building from scratch, which helped it get the LEED Gold data center certification that green-washing IT vendors and companies with big data centers all chase for PR as well as economic and technical reasons.

In the first phase of the RTP data center, IBM has 60,000 square feet with raised floor and can draw on 6 megawatts of power. There is a separate 40,000 of additional space will eventually be activated as IBM adds cloud customers, and the facility can draw as much as 15 megawatts. The modular design IBM has chosen will allow it to bring new capacity online in about half the time, the company says.

It did not elaborate about how this calculation was arrived at, but clearly, it takes less time to put in a floor in a pre-made shell than it does to build an add-on to a an existing data center. Basically, IBM seems to have left 40 per cent of the data center unfinished, which obviously saves money and allows that 40 percent to be finished in pieces or all at once as conditions dictate.

The RTP data center has been equipped with 2,000 sensors for the air conditioning units to gather up data on weather conditions in the facility - temperature, pressure, humidity, and air flow - and IBM Research has come up with some software that will no doubt be productized that will be used by Big Blue to move workloads around the data center as weather conditions change to keep hot spots from developing. In total, the data center, its power distribution, and air conditioning units have over 30,000 sensors that this data center management software can make use of to move workloads around.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
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.