IBM commits US$1bn to tackle energy crisis

14 May 2007

IBM has announced a US$1bn strategy to reduce the levels of energy consumption across its business. The company intends to create ‘green’ data centres.

The initiative includes a new global “green team” of more than 850 energy efficiency architects from across IBM. The initiative targets corporate data centres where energy constraints and costs can limit their ability to grow.

According to analyst firm IDC, roughly 50 cents is spent on energy for every dollar of computer hardware. This is expected to increase by 54 percent to 71 cents over the next four years.

“The data centre energy crisis is inhibiting our clients’ business growth as they seek to access computing power,” said Mike Daniels, senior vice-president, IBM Global Technology Services. “Many data centres have now reached full capacity, limiting a firm’s ability to grow and make necessary capital investments. Today we are providing clients the IBM action plan to make their data centres fully utilised and energy efficient.”

IBM expects to double the computing capacity of its data centres within the next three years without increasing power consumption or its carbon footprint.

IBM’s ‘Project Big Green’ involves virtualising IT infrastructures and utilising special-purpose processors, managing energy levels with power management software and exploiting liquid cooling solutions inside and outside of data centres.

“Relief from the energy crisis can’t be achieved through incremental improvements. Bold ideas and actionable plans are needed to deal with this issue,” said Bill Zeitler, senior vice-president, IBM Systems and Technology Group.

IBM currently runs the world’s largest commercial technology infrastructure, with more than eight million square feet of data centres in six continents.

By Niall Byrne