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IBM Plans Virtual Green Data Center In Second Life

IBM plans a rich-media Webcast on Friday to promote the center, which sits behind a private firewall in IBM's "green spot" in Second Life.
IBM on Friday will formally unveil its newest, eco-friendly data center. But visitors who want to check it out will have to log in to Linden Lab's Second Life virtual world -- the only place the facility actually "exists."

IBM plans a rich-media Webcast on Friday to promote the center, which sits behind a private firewall in IBM's "green spot" in Second Life. The Webcast will feature IBM's Andrew Verdesca, program manager for the company's Energy Efficient Technologies and Services Team, both as his corporeal self and as a Second Life avatar.

IBM is using content produced by King Fish Media to create the Webcast, which will be hosted by On24.com.

IBM hopes to use the data center as a demonstration area for its eco-friendly technologies and services. The company is increasingly turning to Second Life as a platform for showing off new products, as well as research concepts. IBM announced in 2006 that research into virtual worlds would get a share of a $100 million fund that it has earmarked for new technology development.

IBM and Linden Lab last year announced they had teamed up to create avatars that can jump from one virtual world to the next.

Under the plan, the companies are working together to create standards that, if broadly employed, would allow Web users to move their digital personas seamlessly across online environments like Second Life and other 3-D worlds.

IBM says universal standards will help drive the use of virtual worlds beyond gaming and entertainment and make them more practical for businesses. Among other things, the company envisions online malls where users can stroll around, chat with "sales avatars," view product demonstrations, and make purchases.

This article was updated on Aug. 12 to clarify King Fish's role in the Webcast.