IBM recently announced that it will spend $1bn a year to make its business more energy efficient. The company’s plan includes new products and services for IBM and its clients to reduce energy consumed by data centres.
Data centres, large clusters of computers used for everything from payroll to web hosting, require a lot of power. They also generate a substantial amount of heat that must be removed to allow the computers to operate. That cooling also uses power. According to analyst firm IDC, roughly 50 cents is spent on energy for every $1 of computer hardware. That figure is expected to rise to 71 cents over the next four years.
Called “Project Big Green,” IBM’s initiative targets corporate data centres where energy constraints and costs can limit growth. The initiative includes a new global “green team” of more than 850 energy efficiency architects from across IBM.
IBM says the savings are substantial: energy savings of more than 40 percent for an average 25,000 square foot data centre. Based on the energy mix in the
‘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. Compared to building out news space and doubling the size of its data centres – now comprising more than eight million square feet on six continents — IBM expects this will help save more than five billion kilowatt hours of energy per year.