IBM on Tuesday announced an expansion of its global services business to provide new capabilities to tackle increasing data center power and cooling issues, particularly in high-density server installations.
"Our customers are telling us they need guidance and help navigating through this potential crisis," says Bret Lehman, director of IBM's site and facilities services. "According to Gartner research, in the next two or three years the operational capacity requirements in 70% of all data centers will be at risk."
According to a recent Gartner report, business are under mounting pressures to develop greener approaches to their technology deployments and practices, and IT and business leaders need to do a better job of recognizing the issues of spiraling energy consumption or face potential environmental legislation. The research firm says two factors are particularly visible to policymakers; electronic waste and the potential impact of data center energy consumption on global warming.
As data centers consume more energy to power and cool systems, businesses face increasingly difficult challenges and are looking for alternative technologies.
IBM Global Services is adding five services and products to provide assessment and analysis of data center requirements to meet increasing power and cooling requirements when housing high-density blade servers, as well as server and data center design and installation services.
-- A computing readiness assessment service will assist customers in gauging their ability to support high-density computing, including the identification of potential gaps that could jeopardize continuous operation.
-- Thermal analysis identifies and resolves existing and potential heat-related issues that could lead to outages in existing data centers, and provides options for power savings and future expansion.
-- A new server racking system that incorporates a conventional 19-inch server rack with integrated power distribution, cooling, networking, and cabling. The effort is currently being piloted in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
-- A data center global consolidation and relocation enablement service provides evaluation to assist customers in creating strategies to consolidate or relocate facilities around the globe.
-- A program to allow small and medium businesses to quickly create energy efficient data centers through the use of modular 500- and 1,000-square foot building blocks. The service provides power, cooling, security, and monitoring for a turnkey data center, and currently is in pilot installations in the United States.
"Our intent is to provide these offerings in a globally consistent way that we have not been able to do in the past," Lehman says. "We are providing the common building blocks that will provide a level of consistency and a set of guidelines that allows business to create and replicate this around the globe."
Lehman says the new service offerings are "vendor agnostic," with equipment from various vendors including IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems adaptable to the products and services.
The new services will draw on the expertise of more than 450 site and facilities experts worldwide who have designed and built more than 30 million square feet of raised-floor data centers for its customers, and more than 400 data centers in IBM's own facilities worldwide, Lehman says.