IBM launches green datacentre challenge to Sun

IBM is set to announce a modular datacentre designed to reduce energy consumption. The Enterprise Modular Datacentre, essentially a datacentre in a box will be offered in sizes ranging from 5,000 to 20,000 square feet, set to compete with Sun's own Modular Datacentre.

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IBM is set to announce a modular datacentre designed to reduce energy consumption. The Enterprise Modular Datacentre, essentially a datacentre in a box will be offered in sizes ranging from 5,000 to 20,000 square feet, set to compete with Sun's own Modular Datacentre.

The company, which is already committed to spending $1 billion (£500m) annuually on its Project Big Green initiative, is teaming up with the utility industry on new datacentre energy management programmes.

As with the Sun product, IBM said its datacentre would help reduce unnecessary capital and operational expenses.

"With roughly 60 percent of the capital costs and 50 percent of the operational costs of running a datacentre being energy related, the ability to design, construct and activate a highly energy efficient datacentre has become a business imperative," IBM said.

The datacentre "pod" includes power and cooling systems, remote monitoring, and protection from fire, smoke, humidity, condensation and temperature changes.

With industry-standard racks, customers can fill the Modular Datacentre with technology from multiple vendors.

"By building in smaller, standardised modules, clients can scale the starting datacentre capacity by up to 12 times while matching their capital and operational costs to their IT needs over time," IBM says. "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."

The cost of the Modular Datacentre was not announced.

IBM followed up the Modular Datacentre announcement this week with a utility industry partnership focused on reducing energy consumption in datacentres

IBM expanded its Energy Efficiency Certificates programme to let datacentres obtain third-party verification that energy efficiency projects are actually cutting the use of electricity.

The company also launched two new services. The first is IBM's IT Carbon Strategy Assessment, a three- or four-week program that helps customers identify energy waste in their network, printers, distributed servers, HVAC systems, desktop computers and other technologies. The second service, based in Second Life, is called the Virtual Green Datacentre, a three-dimensional tool giving users insight into managing and improving datacentre efficiency.

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