The Mainframe Can Help Customers Go Green

The System z platform has been answering the call of energy efficiency for decades

The System z platform has been answering the call of energy efficiency for decades
Illustration by Gina and Matt

A Greener Future

As Isaac Newton observed, inertia is a powerful force. A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless it's acted upon by an outside force. Organizations can fall into inertial patterns, continuing to buy and connect vast, power-hungry, hot networks of distributed servers because that's the path they have chosen and no force has yet acted upon them to make them question their course. Organizations are discovering that their inertia has landed them in hot water with excessive heat generation, growing cooling requirements and power usage and densities on their raised floors.

Datacenters that have taken or plan to take a different, energy-efficient approach by consciously choosing to adopt mainframe technology receive a cost and space savings. Greener datacenters may earn praise from environmentalists as well as the companies' CFO and CEO. The mainframe allows IT departments to face the future confidently knowing they'll be able to handle more work and do it efficiently. Mainframes may help lower datacenter power and cooling needs compared to continued proliferation of distributed servers on the raised floor.

Datacenters can be designed to turn the heat they generate to their advantage. Instead of exhausting heat away from the datacenter only to vent it into the atmosphere, reuse of the heat is another way to improve an organization's energy efficiency.

IBM still focuses its efforts on building more efficient mainframe machines that do more with less, giving datacenter managers the flexibility and freedom to make the best choices for their companies and maximize performance.

"Datacenters that faced incremental growth and added small servers bit by bit did not anticipate the cumulative costs of hundreds or even thousands of servers." - David F. Anderson

Aaron Dalton is a writer who specializes in business and technology topics. Aaron can be reached at

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