WSJ Cutting Tech’s Energy Bill - IBM, HP, EMC

WSJ has an article on Computing Makers seeing Green (money) in Retooling Client’s Data Centers. Let’s start with the highlights form big names.

IBM surprised Wall Street this year when it said its new "Green Data-Center Services" business -- which redesigns customers' data centers and sells energy-efficient products -- signed $300 million in orders in the 2007 fourth quarter.

IBM Chief Executive Samuel Palmisano recently told analysts that IBM expects more than 70% of the world's biggest companies "will modify their data centers significantly in the next five years" to deal with energy shortfalls and rising costs.

H-P last November bought EYP Mission Critical Facilities Inc., a 350-person engineering firm that specializes in designing data centers. EYP President Rick Einhorn says that while energy efficiency used to be an afterthought when customers requested quotes, today "every request we see has a requirement for energy-efficient design."

Savings can be significant. EMC Corp., a Hopkinton, Mass., provider of storage systems that also has an energy-consulting business, redesigned its own computer rooms to eliminate unneeded equipment and use air-conditioning more efficiently. EMC projects that over three years it will avoid $4 million in costs of energy and expanded floor space.

Virtualization is covered.

Virtualization software is another big trend in power-efficient computing. In the past, companies used a separate physical server for every software application. Frequently, each ran at only 10% of its capacity, while using a full load of electricity. With virtualization, many jobs can be run on a single computer using more of its capacity, which cuts power needs.

Albert Esser, head of power and infrastructure solutions at Dell, says that advising customers how to cut power use through virtualization is an increasingly important part of Dell's $6 billion-a-year services business. He declined to disclose specific amounts.

EMC's VMware Corp., the biggest maker of virtualization software, says that a company that virtualizes 100 servers to run on 20 physical servers can save nearly $67,000 a year in energy costs.

And a small world connection. In the WSJ article Citigroup is mentionedfor its Frankfurt green data center.

Citigroup Inc. is scaling down to 14 major data centers from 52. The financial giant has been building so-called green data centers, including one in Frankfurt, Germany, with an earth-topped, green roof and exterior wall planted with sedum, a dense, succulent plant that retains cooling water in its leaves, shielding the building from the sun's rays and reducing the need for air conditioning.

I blogged about the Citigroup effort back in Dec 10, 2007 identifying the work by Harvey Cobbold.

A group of us had the pleasure of having Harvey Cobbold who is responsible for Citi's Data Center construction on our Green Data Center panel discussion at IT Forum. Behind the scenes of any Green PR release is a team of people who have been working on the project for years. These are the people who are now being recognized by their companies and industry as doing the right thing for the environment.  Great Job Harvey!!!