Highmark Greens its Data Center, Long Term Costs of Energy Efficiency projects?

Data Center journal publishes a press release on IBM’s efforts to green the data center for Highmark.

IBM Helps Highmark Optimize “Green” Data Center

Written by Press Release

Thursday, 18 December 2008

IBM has announced it has partnered with Highmark Inc. to transform Highmark’s energy-efficient data center in its Harrisburg, PA location. For Highmark, Pennsylvania’s largest health insurer, a commitment toward a healthier environment will help to create healthier communities.

An increasing number of companies are implementing initiatives to reduce the risk of climate change’s impact.  Highmark’s active role in green business projects was awarded a prestigious honor by Computerworld magazine, which ranked it as a top “green” information technology company for 2008. 

“A significant percent of our IT costs are driven by actual computing systems -- the hard drives, servers and storage appliances.  At Highmark, we are always looking for opportunities to reduce our power footprint.  IBM has shown us how we can improve efficiency in our data center – both to reduce our environmental impact and to support our offerings to the community,” said Mark Wood, director of data center infrastructure at Highmark.

This is an IBM press release article. 

Facts not presented is the length of time before changes in the environment warrant a data center tune-up.  Without data, it is hard for the customer to know when maintenance provides a good ROI.

IBM continues the marketing in the press release.

IBM's technologies and services are aimed at helping clients sharply reduce data center energy consumption. The data center is an area of information technology (IT) that can reap substantial and lasting benefits by using 'greener' technology. IBM's analysis of Highmark's data center included a data center energy efficiency assessment and a thermal analysis using IBM's Mobile Measurement Technology (MMT), which measures 3D temperature distributions within data centers to discover where improvements are needed.

Which this reminds me why in general press releases don’t make it into this blog.  They are just marketing announcements.

I would be more curious as to the long term maintenance costs to maintain their data center energy improvements.  This is all dependent on the customers use of the data center which is why there is great opportunities for condition based maintenance.