IBM has today elaborated on the new datacentre energy efficiency services it launched last week and dismissed suggestions that its support for blade servers has contributed to the energy crisis afflicting many firms' IT infrastructure.
Speaking to GBN, Chris Scott, service product line leader for IBM's site and facility services unit, said the company had repackaged its energy efficiency services into five new lines in order to meet growing customer demand for improved energy efficiency.
The first new line IBM has launched is a High Density Computing Readiness Assessment. Scott said the service assesses a datacenter's use of high density computing (HDC) technologies such as blade servers and suggests changes firms can make to move towards "getting as much technology into each rack as possible".
HDC environments have been criticised by some experts as increasing datacentre power demands, with blade servers often branded particularly inefficient due to the extra cooling they often require.
Rakesh Kumar of analyst Gartner recently said blades were a direct contributor to IT's "energy crisis" claiming that:
“The power needed for a rack of high-density server blades can be between 10 and 15 times higher than the power needed for a traditional server environment... At the same time, a similar amount of additional power will be needed to remove the huge quantity of heat generated by these new machines.”
But while accepting that HDC environments could create issues with cooling and power supply Scott argued blades are easier to deploy and manage, and use far less floor space than traditional datacentres so that that overall there is little difference in the energy efficiency of the two approaches.
The second new IBM service centres on Thermal Analysis designed to help IT chiefs optimise datacentre cooling. Scott said that the software IBM uses not only maps datacentre thermals, but also allows consultants to model how infrastructure changes would impact heat distribution.
"The tool will show which areas are hot and which cold," he said. "It often uncovers that simply moving some assets will optimse the environment and allow you to turn the cooling down – saving money."
"Everytime a change is made you are altering thermal dynamics, so it is a really useful service for customers that make frequent datacentre changes," Scott added.
The third service focuses on individual rack design and offers an Integrated Rack Solution that moves power cables to ensure that the air flow around the rack is optimised.
We'll bring you the details of the final two energy efficiency services later this week.
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