IBM Tools Turn Datacenters Green


Source: Reuters

IBM (NYSE: IBM) on Wednesday launched tools to reduce computer-energy consumption as IBM hopes to boost its business of selling power-saving technologies.

The products, announced at an IBM business-partner conference in Los Angeles, are designed to measure power consumption and reduction across energy-hungry computer datacenters that run corporate networks and Web sites.

The world’s largest technology services company is offering software that tracks and caps datacenter energy consumption, including power for air conditioning to cool server computers.

IBM is also extending to 27 more countries a program begun in seven countries last year that lets companies earn and trade certificates awarded for verified energy savings.

“Energy efficiency has become a critical business metric, like product reliability and customer satisfaction,” William Zeitler, head of IBM’s systems and technology group, said in an interview with Reuters.

IBM is expanding in so-called green datacenters as it looks for new growth areas in developed regions such as Western Europe as well as in developing countries that are spending heavily on new technology infrastructure.

“The opportunity for us is to go to clients — there are an enormous number who are either transforming their datacenters or will have to transform them,” Zeitler said. “This is a critically important problem in the industry.”

IBM’s green datacenter initiative has already begun to pay off a year after it was launched. It generated nearly $200 million of technology-services contract signings in the first quarter and about $300 million in the fourth, Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge said in recent earnings presentations.

Many of the countries added to the certificate program are in emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East, where Armonk, New York-based IBM has been generating double-digit percentage revenue growth from building technology infrastructure in telecoms, transportation and energy, among other areas.

Growth is also strong in North America and Western Europe, where banks, for example, are trying to rein in energy costs from running massive volumes of financial transactions on their computers. Banks are among IBM’s biggest customers.

“It’s really taken off in North America in particular and Western Europe,” said Joe Clabby, president and industry research analyst at Clabby Analytics. “Countries that are not energy self-sufficient are jumping on this initiative.”

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