Big Blue goes Big Green

2 Aug 2007

In an effort to reduce its energy output by 80pc over the next five years IBM is planning to merge its 3,900 computer servers worldwide into 30 mainframes.

Project Big Green, which will transfer the current servers on to System Z mainframes running on Linux, is not only aiming for environmental friendliness but also expects marked savings through less software and system support costs.

While IBM is spending US$1bn per year on implementing Project Big Green, it will save US$250m in overall costs, aside from drastically reducing its energy requirements.

IBM’s global data centre space currently takes up eight million square feet or the equivalent of 139 football fields.

According to IBM, this move will be “one of the most significant transformations of its worldwide data centres in a generation”.

While the consolidation of 3,900 servers is expected to conserve enough energy to power a small-sized town, there will be considerable hardware to recycle in keeping with Project Big Green’s policies.

The leftover hardware will be processed through the company’s Global Asset recovery Services.

“As one of the world’s largest technology providers, IBM consistently assesses how our systems can be maximised to support our employees and clients,” said Mark Hennessy, vice-president and chief information officer at IBM.

“A global account consolidation truly demonstrates that IBM is committed to driving stronger energy and technology optimisation and cost savings.”

IBM data centres taking part in this initiative will be from the US, UK, Japan and Australia.

By Marie Boran