Forbes interviews IBM to discuss data centers in China.
IBM: China the Biggest Data Center Buyer
Dec. 6 2010 - 9:23 pm | 1,559 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments
Image by AFP/Getty Images via @daylife
China is on track to be IBM’s biggest customer for big data centers, according to a senior official with the company. Matter of fact, the so-called “developing world” may soon outstrip the more advanced one.
“Forty percent of out business is now from ‘Growth Countries,’” said Steve Sams, IBM vice president for Global Site and Facilities Services. “This year China will probably be a bigger customer for (new data centers) than the U.S.”
Now in the US, I don't know of any of the top data centers designed by IBM. As far as I know the data center designs by IBM are outsourced. In fact, I know of two specific projects that started with IBM went on for years and were eventually engineered by RTKL and HP's critical facilities group and IBM was removed from the project.
“We recently retrofitted one data center in China with 1.2 million square feet,” he said. “A telecom company with 20 million people there is small.”
Part of the problem selling in China is the resources and manpower required. Which IBM has. Most data center engineering groups are less than hundred engineers.
Even when you count IBM's showcase Blue Water Supercomputer scheduled to be the top Supercomputer in a 15 MW facility.
About the Blue Waters project
Blue Waters is expected to be one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. It will have a peak performance of 10 petaflops (10 quadrillion calculations every second) and will achieve sustained performance of 1 petaflop running a range of science and engineering codes.
Scientists will create breakthroughs in nearly all fields of science using Blue Waters. They will predict the behavior of complex biological systems, understand how the cosmos evolved after the Big Bang, design new materials at the atomic level, predict the behavior of hurricanes and tornadoes, and simulate complex engineered systems like the power distribution system and airplanes and automobiles.
Blue Waters is a joint effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, its National Center for Supercomputing Applications, IBM, and the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation. It is supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Illinois.
Blue Waters will be based on POWER7 hardware from IBM—makers of more than one-third of the world's 500 fastest computers and almost all of the 40 most "green" supercomputers. It will be the first of apowerful new system design from IBM. The design includes extensive research and development in new chip technology, interconnect technology, operating systems, compiler, and programming environments.
Guess who engineered the high performance power and water cooling systems. IBM? No.
The data center engineering group has little leverage to say hey we designed that building.
I wonder home many data centers the Chinese will need to build before they figure out how to engineer their own?