ibmdcbIBM, Syracuse University (SU) and New York State have entered into a multiyear agreement to build and operate a new computer data center on the University’s campus. It’ll use smarter computing technologies to make an energy-efficient data center.

The data center, says IBM, is expected to use 50% less energy than a typical data center today, making it one of the “greenest” computer centers in operation.

Research firm IDC believes that power management, automation, and virtualization software can help enterprises create ‘Green’ data centers. In its survey, IDC’s Asia/Pacific Green Poll, the researcher finds Green IT technology gaining strong momentum and mindshare across the region. (Read: Green Software for Green Data Centers)

Recently, IBM had introduced its first consulting service designed to help government organizations analyze energy and water use, assess waste management, evaluate overall environmental impact, and develop improvement strategies. (Read: What…? Green Government!)

Also, GE decided to use technologies that will save over 11% of the current annual energy used for cooling at its Ohio data center. And, the new solution will save two to three million gallons of water – or 20% – while also reducing use of water treatment chemicals at the facility by 50%. (Read: How to Cut Energy, Water Usage in Data Center)

Tech research firm Gartner suggests that enterprises can save 1 million kilowatt hours by implementing 11 best practices in the data center. While cooling consumes a major chunk of electrical energy in a traditional data center, “green” ones can save it substantially. (Read: 11 Ways to Save Energy in a Data Center)

The IBM project will focus on the actual infrastructure of the data center itself, not just the computer hardware and software. A key element will be an on-site electrical co-generation system that will use natural gas-fueled microturbine engines to generate all electricity for the center and provide cooling for the computer servers.

The $12.4 million, 6,000-square-foot data center will feature its own electrical tri-generation system and incorporate IBM’s energy-efficient computers and computer-cooling technology. SU will manage and analyze the performance of the center, as well as research and develop new data center energy efficiency analysis and modeling tools. 

IBM will provide more than $5 million in equipment, design services and support, which includes supplying the electrical cogeneration equipment and servers such as IBM BladeCenter, IBM Power 575, and an IBM z10 systems. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is contributing $2 million to the project.

IBM estimates that data centers in the United States consume annually more than 62 billion kilowatt hours of electricity — equivalent to the amount used by approximately 5.8 million U.S. households — for a total cost of about $4.5 billion. If current trends continue, that usage could double by 2011.

The new data center is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

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About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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