Two of IBM's new Power7 servers have reached Energy Star status, making them the first four-socket systems to meet the federal government's criteria for energy efficiency.
IBM officials said April 1 that the Power 750 Express and Power 755 models met the standards outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA has created standards for a range of products-such as PCs, televisions and refrigerators-that determine whether the appliances are energy-efficient enough to sport the Energy Star logo. The EPA spent more than two years working with a host of technology vendors, including IBM, to develop Energy Star guidelines for servers and storage devices.
During that time, businesses were becoming more conscious of rapidly rising power and cooling costs, and environmental regulators began seeing data centers consuming an increasing large amount of power.
In recent years, data centers have accounted for as much as 1.5 percent of the energy consumed in the United States, according to the federal government. In the meantime, businesses seeing a large percentage of their IT spending going into running and cooling their IT infrastructures began putting pressure on processor makers and OEMs to find ways to make their products run more efficiently.
According to IBM officials, Power 750 Express and Power 755 systems offer four times the performance of the older Power6 servers for the same price, while being three to four times more energy efficient.
The Power7 chips offer a number of features that enable IT administrators to dynamically optimize power usage, including Power Saver Mode or Dynamic Power Saver Mode, which can cut processor speed in half to reduce the amount of energy used or optimize the power used by the processor and system by modulating processor voltage and speed.
The Processor Core Nap feature puts the chip core into a low-power mode when idle, and Processor Folding takes the number of processors needed for current workloads and puts the unused processors into Nap Mode.
The Power7 servers also automatically turn off pluggable PCI adapter slots that are empty or unused.