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Green innovations for data centres

November 8, 2011 No Comments

A green solution is not a one-shot affair, say researchers at IBM

What has ‘green’ energy got to do with information technology? Plenty, if you ask P. Gopalakrishnan, vice-president, India Software Lab, IBM.

Globally, data centres, which house large stacks of storage and computing power, are one of the fastest growing power consuming segments and, so, they are a prime candidate for a concerted attempt at energy saving, Dr. Gopalakrishnan says.

Based in Bangalore, the lab has spearheaded some of the company’s key innovations in energy in the last 10 years, not only in-house but also at its clients’ locations worldwide. The lab recently announced that it has deployed an array of solar panels on the rooftop of its facility in Embassy Golf Links in Bangalore.

Dr. Gopalakrishnan says a part of the lab’s mandate is to address energy efficiency issues.

“We have two objectives: to drive operational efficiencies and to integrate technologies and showcase them to demonstrate the art of the possible.”

Energy efficiency is not just a matter of use of electrical energy, but also of space in buildings and many other dimensions, he adds. Last year, IBM announced that it delivered a water-cooled supercomputer to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

THREE-PRONGED SOLUTION

The lab has been working on the ‘green’ energy data centre for about two years. Dr. Gopalakrishnan says there are three major dimensions in reducing energy consumption, not all of which are about the quantum of power that is drawn from the grid. The first aspect of this is the constant endeavour to use technologies that help reduce the “sprawl” of data centres. “When we started, we had about 30 data centres, but we have consolidated them into a dozen centres in the country now. This has been achieved by innovations in server technologies, which made them denser,” he says.

Read Full Article at The Hindu

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