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1 billion a year aimed at ‘greening’ data centers


IBM will spend $1 billion a year to make its business more energy efficient. The company’s plan includes new products and services for IBM and its clients to sharply reduce energy consumed by data centers.

Data centers, 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 centers 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.

The savings are substantial: energy savings of more than 40 percent for an average 25,000 square foot data center. Based on the energy mix in the US, this savings equates to more than 7,400 tons of carbon emissions saved per year.

“The data center 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 centers 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 centers fully utilized and energy efficient.”


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