IBM yesterday said it would expand its global efforts to deliver greater energy efficiency to businesses facing skyrocketing energy costs, environmental concerns, and corporate sustainability requirements. The company introduced new services, technologies, and financing to help enterprises bridge the gap between the mandate for CIOs to build "greener" technology infrastructures that can meet growing business requirements and the desire of CFOs to realize rapid financial benefits from such investments.
The announcement comes one year after IBM launched Project Big Green and committed $1 billion to deliver technologies that help clients dramatically increase the level of energy efficiency in their data centers. Data centers house computer servers and equipment that are consuming increasingly larger amounts of energy as demand for computing power grows worldwide. In the past year, IBM has engaged with more than 2,000 clients to deliver hardware, software, and services technologies that have helped them reduce data center energy consumption and cut energy costs by as much as 40 percent.
IBM Modular Data Centers
The second phase of Project Big Green intends to drive greater advancements in energy efficiencies by making data centers more flexible in matching IT needs to capital and operating costs. The data center environment is going through dramatic change. According to the EPA, energy costs for these environments are doubling every five years and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air/Conditioning Engineers expects technology densities to increase by 20 times in this decade. With roughly 60 percent of the capital costs and 50 percent of the operational costs of running a data center being energy related, the ability to design, construct, and activate a highly energy efficient data center has become a business imperative.
To meet that imperative for both the CIO and CFO, IBM is introducing modular, energy-efficient data center designs available anywhere in the world. Designed to power businesses ranging from large global enterprises to small organizations in remote areas, the new modular data centers can reduce energy consumption by as much as 50 percent. They include:
· Enterprise Modular Data Center (EMDC)--an enterprise class data center "shrink-wrapped" and standardized from 5,000 square feet up to 20,000 square feet. This approach enables clients to bring new data centers online three-to-six months sooner than a custom designed version. By building in smaller, standardized modules, clients can scale the starting data center capacity by up to 12 times while matching their capital and operational costs to their IT needs over time. This approach allows the customers to defer up to 40 percent of the capital expense and 50 percent of the operational expense until the capacity is required. Each EMDC is designed to achieve the world's highest ratings for energy leadership, as determined by the Green Grid, an industry group focused on advancing energy efficiency for data centers and business compute ecosystems.
· Portable Modular Data Center (PMDC)--provides a fully functional data center in a pod-like form with a complete physical infrastructure including power and cooling systems and remote monitoring. It also has all the elements of the secure operating environments found in traditional "raised-floor" data centers, including protection from fire, smoke, humidity, condensation, and temperature changes. The PMDC can be shipped and deployed into any environment and can support multiple technology vendors and multiple systems in an industry standard rack environment.
· High Density Zone (HDZ)--a modular system that provides incremental cooling and power capability in existing data centers that are tapped out of capacity. The HDZ system can be swapped into an existing data center without disrupting current operations and can provide up to 35 percent cost savings compared to retrofitting an existing data center.
The modular data centers are essentially miniature versions of IBM's renowned data centers, mimicking the power and energy efficiency of facilities that serve many of the world's largest enterprises. The capability to increase computing capacity while simultaneously reducing power consumption is an antidote to a pressing business need. CIOs must now plan data center support of global enterprises as energy costs rise to all-time highs. IBM's Project Big Green helps them design and deploy energy efficient modular data centers while providing CFOs the savings which can dramatically reduce energy bills.
"Since we announced IBM's Project Big Green a year ago, we've engaged with thousands of businesses, governments, and educational institutions around the world to help them address critical energy challenges in their data centers," said Mike Daniels, senior vice-president and group executive, IBM Global Technology Services. "In the second phase of Big Green, we're unveiling the most advanced green technologies and services to help clients become much more efficient in how they consume and pay for energy, not only in their data centers, but across all of their operations."
IBM Research Paves the Way
IBM scientists have developed a method to cool computer chips that have circuits and components stacked on top of each other with tiny rivers of water, an advance that promises to significantly reduce energy consumed by data centers. Earlier this month, IBM Researchers, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Berlin, demonstrated a prototype that integrates the cooling system into the three dimensional (3-D) chips by piping water directly between each layer in the stack. These so-called 3-D chip stacks--which take chips and memory devices that traditionally sit side-by-side on a silicon wafer and stacks them together on top of one another--presents one of the most promising approaches to enhancing chip performance beyond its predicted limits, while simultaneously reducing the energy consumed by data centers.
IBM storage systems researchers are also studying ways to measure power utilization on the IT workload to help customers with data center planning. Ultimately, the scientists expect to integrate these new technologies into storage management tools for real-time power consumption management.
In addition, IBM service researchers are now applying Component Business Modeling (CBM) to the environmental space, particularly with regard to reducing carbon footprint. CBM allows organizations to identify opportunities for improvement and innovation by regrouping their activities into a manageable number of modular business components. This enables flexibility and provides for a clarified focus on the core capabilities needed to run the business and drive business strategy. Organizations interested in carbon management use CBM to identify areas of the business with high carbon impact levels and opportunity for change. For example, in a CBM map there is an "IT Systems and Operations" component with high potential to reduce carbon footprint through IBM's green data center approach. CBM maps are also pre-populated with performance metrics and industry benchmarks that can be easily used to analyze business processes where waste can be reduced.
New Products and Services
IBM announced new software today for its industry leading storage virtualization system, the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) 4.3. The new SVC 4.3 software can significantly improve the flexibility and responsiveness of IT infrastructures by creating consolidated, virtual pools of information across the enterprise, enabling IT departments to centrally manage resources and respond more quickly to client needs. Storage virtualization technology can also reduce requirements for additional physical storage hardware systems, which can ultimately reduce overall energy usage in the data center.
In addition, IBM is announcing three new energy efficient services to help clients with data center storage and virtualization needs. They include:
· IBM Server Optimization & Integration Services for VMware server virtualization--a comprehensive set of services that can help clients increase the flexibility of their server infrastructure, achieve utilization rates up to 60 percent, and significantly reduce the number of servers they manage. The service can help reduce energy costs by up to 30 percent and reduce total cost of ownership by up to 50 percent.
· IBM Storage Optimization and Integration Services for process excellence--a service that addresses challenges in the enterprise including skill transfer, change management, lack of uniformity and the impact of resource churn. This service builds on the storage infrastructure power consumption and carbon footprint reporting capability which is part of the new IBM Novus Storage Enterprise Resource Planner (SERP) v4.3.1 release.
· IBM Softek z/OS Dataset Mobility Facility (zDMF)--a service that enables clients to move data at the dataset level with minimal disruption to application availability. This automated approach provides businesses greater flexibility, faster adoption of better-performing, larger capacity disk volumes, and newer, more energy-efficient storage systems.
Financing to Go Green
IBM Global Financing announced at the same time a customized, all inclusive financial package for energy efficient IT services, infrastructure and business transformation projects. Such financing helps preserve client cash flow for the entire scope of a client's green data center project, including hardware, software, services and maintenance with a single, comprehensive package. By financing green data center projects, IBM Global Financing can administer all the clients' current and future IT investments, even paying off current financing contracts with other providers.
The Green to Core Data Center
Earlier this year, IBM introduced a model for the new enterprise data center--an evolutionary, highly efficient, dynamic infrastructure that addresses the business challenges global clients face today. The IBM vision is backed by deep technical capabilities, unmatched skills and a clear roadmap with assessments and solutions clients can act on today. Using an open approach, with support from more than a dozen ecosystem partners, this new framework allows clients to leverage emerging technologies to address growing business challenges and helps them position their companies to be more competitive.
Project Big Green is a critical part of IBM's new enterprise data center strategy which focuses on best practices in virtualization, green IT, service management, security and cloud computing. The new enterprise data center offers potentially dramatic improvements in IT performance and energy efficiency, and helps enable rapid deployment of new IT services to support business growth.
Last month, IBM announced "Software for a Greener World," a broad set of software capabilities to help businesses achieve their green goals and optimize infrastructure, workloads and people for energy efficiency. The capabilities span the IBM software portfolio from Tivoli, WebSphere, Rational, Information Management and Lotus. For example, IBM Software can enable clients to manage energy consumption in the data center and beyond, deliver energy efficient enterprise applications and SOA environments, optimize business processes for energy efficiency, report on energy and carbon to document compliance, efficiently manage information storage and processing to drive down energy costs, and reduce carbon emissions and the need for travel by increasing collaboration across geographies.
In support of IBM's Data Center Family capabilities and customer requirements for end-to-end solutions, IBM continues to expand their data center open architecture through relationships with industry leading global power and cooling technology providers including Anixter Inc., Eaton, Emerson Network Power, GE Digital Energy, and APC by Schneider Electric.
In addition to the energy efficient technology solutions announced today, IBM is focused on several areas related to energy and the environment, including sustainable supply chains, solar technology, carbon management services, advanced water management, intelligent utility networks and intelligent transportation systems. For more information, visit www.ibm.com/green.