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Amplifying Your Energy Efficiency

IBM BladeCenter and virtualization team up for greener data centers

IBM BladeCenter and virtualization team up for greener data centers

Building an energy-efficient IT environment is critical to your business success. Energy efficiency not only drives a basic financial cost savings, but it also enhances business operations. Going green allows customers to get the most performance per kilowatt of power, meaning you’re saving money while improving business operations. You’re also proactively addressing social and regulatory requirements.

What drives energy efficiency? One solution is IBM BladeCenter technology. The IBM BladeCenter solution is a simple integration of servers, storage and networking. Its innovative, open design offers a true alternative to sprawling racks and overheated server rooms.

Power and cooling has gone from a small, secondary issue to one of the most pressing issues in the data center today. Whether you’re facing the rising cost of power and cooling or running out of power in your existing data center, IBM BladeCenter technology can provide you with the most comprehensive energy-saving hardware solution available. While others are touting their energy-efficient hardware, IBM has moved well beyond that with energy-efficient blade server designs, virtualization solutions and the power management tools to help you truly take charge of your data-center infrastructure.

IBM BladeCenter was introduced in 2002 with an innovative energy-efficient shared power and cooling design. Many have tried to emulate this design, but none have been able to duplicate or surpass IBM BladeCenter technology in effectively increasing overall energy efficiency.

Why is IBM BladeCenter technology so effective when it comes to energy efficiency? I’ll offer four reasons:

1. IBM BladeCenter technology utilizes up to 90 percent energy-efficient power supplies that can reach peak efficiency even under small loads. So, whether your server is under heavy or lower workloads, BladeCenter power architecture is running effectively.

2. IBM BladeCenter technology maximizes cooling efficiency with its patented Calibrated Vectored Cooling technology. This means that, no air movement is wasted and is effectively cooling all system components.

3. IBM BladeCenter technology provides redundant cooling and reduces overall number of components with two ultra-efficient blowers.

4. IBM BladeCenter technology extracts the most performance for every kilowatt by exploiting the solution’s smarter power and cooling architecture.

IBM recently announced two new blade servers. The HS12 and JS12 single-socket Intel and POWER6 processor-based blade servers not only lower the entry price point for blades, but also lets customers more appropriately size their servers for applications that only require single-socket processing capability. Prior to these announcements, many customers remained on single-socket rack servers because of price point and because a two-socket blade server simply wasn’t needed. System administrators don’t want to spend more for processing power and energy costs they don’t need. With IBM’s leadership and innovation, now customers can migrate more applications over to single-socket blades and benefit from the energy efficiency of IBM BladeCenter technology on more applications.

IBM BladeCenter technology is leading edge because it provides customers with choice (see “BladeCenter Flexibility Facts” sidebar).

BladeCenter technology is an energy-efficient platform on its own. According to IBM internal testing, you can realize up to a 58-percent savings over comparable rack server configurations from others vendors while saving an abundance of floor space. The capability to use less power lets you build more processing capability in the same power envelope. I believe the IBM BladeCenter solution can do that better than any other server on the market today.

Add virtualization to the BladeCenter equation and the energy efficiency of the solution becomes even more phenomenal. The overall BladeCenter portfolio includes ultra lower voltage processors, a high-density energy-efficient chassis, solid state disks, Calibrated Vectored Cooling system with two energy-efficient blowers, ultra-efficient power supplies and networking switch options that use the efficient cooling of the chassis rather than having its own separate individual cooling capability like its rack counterpart. With IBM’s unique features and functions, you augment the energy savings that can be realized on an already energy-efficient platform.

The energy-efficiency benefits don’t end there. IBM not only attacks power and cooling at the server and chassis level, but also at the rack and data center level. From the Cool Blue portfolio, IBM offers the Rear Door Heat eXchanger to dissipate any additional heat at the source. Additionally, IBM Director’s Active Energy Manager lets you monitor power over time, make the smartest choices based on actual measured information and cap power when needed. This tool is included with every BladeCenter server at no additional charge.

It’s all about operational efficiency and being able to drive the most performance per kilowatt. With IBM BladeCenter and virtualization, you can amplify your energy efficiency.

BladeCenter Flexibility Facts

The IBM BladeCenter portfolio supports five processor architectures: AMD Opterton, Intel Xeon, Intel Core Duo Workstation, POWER6 technology and Cell Broadband Engine*

IBM BladeCenter family supports five chassis: BladeCenter E, BladeCenter H, BladeCenter T, BladeCenter HT and BladeCenter S

IBM Blade server choices include single socket Intel Xeon (HS12), dual socket Intel Xeon (HS21), dual socket Intel Xeon with extended memory (HS21XM), single socket POWER6 (JS12), dual socket POWER6 (JS22), dual socket AMD Opteron (LS21), four socket AMD Opteron (LS41), dual socket Cell Broadband Engine (QS22), and single socket Intel Core Duo Workstation (HC10)

IBM BladeCenter chassis supports seven industry leaders in LAN and SAN interconnects: Cisco Systems, BLADE Network Technologies (Nortel Networks), QLogic, Brocade, IBM, Voltaire and Emulex

The IBM BladeCenter solution supports Microsoft Windows, Linux, UNIX (AIX 5L), IBM i (formerly known as i5/OS), Novell Netware and Solaris operating systems.

Nancy M. Reaves is an IBM Worldwide BladeCenter business line manager. Nancy can be reached at

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