IBM Goes Back To The Future To Save Earth - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Interop
Commentary
9/16/2008
12:05 PM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
Commentary
50%
50%

IBM Goes Back To The Future To Save Earth

Purpose-built accounting machines? Water-cooled servers? IBM is taking a page from its past to deliver energy-saving systems for today and tomorrow.

Purpose-built accounting machines? Water-cooled servers? IBM is taking a page from its past to deliver energy-saving systems for today and tomorrow.It's not exactly news that energy costs are skyrocketing and demand for power is increasing. Data centers in the U.S. burned through 61 billion kilowatt hours of energy in 2006. Or about $4.5 billion worth of the juice. By 2011, that's expected to rise to 100 billion kilowatts, worth about $7.4 billion, according to the EPA.

"We're killing the planet," said IBM WebSphere CTO Jerry Cuomo, speaking Tuesday at the Interop Energy Camp at New York City's Javits Center.

To help companies rein in their energy use, IBM is introducing new, eco-friendly systems with a decidedly retro feel. "It's back to the future," said Cuomo.

IBM's Power 575 supercomputer, introduced earlier this year, takes a page from older systems in that it's water cooled. As a result, it can be housed in an environment with 80% fewer air conditioning units than is required for more common, air-cooled systems.

Cuomo said fears about introducing liquid into expensive, electrically powered computer systems are overblown, and noted that no one is too concerned that automobiles are cooled by liquid mixed with toxic chemicals. "You're literally driving around with that stuff boiling away on your lap," said Cuomo.

Another IBM throwback meant to reduce customers' energy bills is the purpose-built computing appliance. Like the company's single-purpose, mechanical accounting machines from the 1930s ("It could tear your arm off," said Cuomo), IBM's new WebSphere SOA DataPower appliances are built to do one thing and do it efficiently. The company offers various models optimized for handling XML-intensive business processes like credit card transaction processing and health care administration.

The DataPower appliances are designed to process one byte of XML code with a single CPU cycle, compared with 13 CPU cycles for the standard appliance. "The box runs a lot cooler," said Cuomo.

Even if you don't care about saving the polar bears, it might be worth a look at some of these "old-new" technologies if you care about saving energy dollars.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
News
Can Cloud Revolutionize Business and Software Architecture?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/15/2021
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
News
How CDOs Can Build Insight-Driven Organizations
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  1/15/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll