Energy Consumption Bites IT Budgets; IBM Responds
February 3, 2014 Dan Burger
A smarter planet begins with energy management, whether it is measured throughout a data center or on a single server and all of its peripherals. Shocking electric bills are bringing this to the attention of the accounting department on a monthly basis. The utility companies are getting a 12 percent raise this year, based on a national average, and you probably aren’t. So add this to your list of reasons why it is a bad business decision to compare servers and all your IT gear simply on out-of-the-box pricing.
There have been significant improvements in processor energy efficiency, and certain servers qualify as meeting the most current guidelines of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program. The new requirements became effective December 16, 2013.
IBM’s servers that have earned the Energy Star cover the full range of IBM’s two and four socket systems: four from IBM’s Power Systems line-up; and seven from the IBM System x and PureFlex series. According to the EPA, servers that earn the Energy Star designation will, on average, be 30 percent more energy efficient than standard servers. The specific Power System servers are the Power 730+, 740+, 750+, and Power 760+ machines.
As pointed out by Wayne Balta, vice president of IBM corporate environmental affairs and product safety, in an IBM press release announcing the certification, “Energy efficiency is good for data centers’ bottom lines and good for the planet. It doesn’t make sense to just ‘add a server’ to a data center without considering energy efficiency.”
Qualifying criteria for the newest Energy Star rating–including features such as efficient power supplies, real-time power usage measurement, advanced power management for lowering usage during idle periods–can help organizations lower the amount of energy required to run data centers increasingly under pressure to handle more data more efficiently.
Server environmental efficiency has increasingly played a key role in IBM server wins in and beyond the United States. Indigo, Canada’s largest book, lifestyle, and specialty toy retailer, maintains over 230 physical store locations countrywide as well as operating Canada’s leading online specialty retail business. Maintaining its mission-critical data center just outside of Toronto, the company takes its power consumption seriously. This year Indigo upgraded its data center with new Energy Star-qualified Power 760 servers.
“Data center costs can eat away at our profit, so maintaining a highly efficient IT infrastructure is essential for our company,” said Ben Turgeon, vice president of IT operations at Indigo. After installing Energy Star-qualified Power 760 servers, the company reports their data center power consumption is exactly what it was seven years ago, but that equates to an overall net reduction of 35 percent in the last five years.
To learn more about IBM’s Energy Star leadership and participation go to: www.ibm.com/systems/hardware/energy_star.
For more information on energy-efficient servers, see the Federal government’s Energy Star for Enterprise Servers program.