IBM Opens Cloud-Ready, Energy-Efficient Data Center

IBM is opening a data center in North Carolina that is capable of supporting cloud computing initiatives for clients, offers a host of energy-efficiency features and includes hundreds of sensors that can enable IBM to dynamically adapt power and cooling needs to the environment. IBM officials say the data center infrastructure not only can help outsourcing clients save money and increase efficiency, but also serves as a showcase for IBM's Smarter Planet technologies.

IBM is opening a data center that officials say offers customers a way to improve their IT operations while driving down capital and operational costs.

The new facility, in Raleigh, N.C., dovetails with IBM's larger Smarter Planet initiative, having been built with such new computing models as cloud computing in mind, in a modular fashion that can quickly and easily be scaled, and with intelligent and energy-efficient features that help drive down operating costs, according to company officials.

"It is more interconnected and more intelligent than the data centers we opened even a few years ago," Joe Dzaluk, vice president of infrastructure for IBM's Server and Technology Group, said in an interview.

The data center, built in a renovated warehouse on IBM's Research Triangle Park campus, was officially opened Feb. 4, though the tech company already has been moving clients and running operations from the facility.

For more information on IBM's Smarter Planet strategy, click here.

The data center currently is using about 60,000 square feet of raised floor space consuming 6 megawatts of power, with the capacity to grow to 100,000 feet and 15 megawatts, Dzaluk said. At full capacity, the facility will be able to handle the computing needs of 40 to 50 clients, he said.

The key for IBM is the technologies being used inside the facility and the modular way the data center is being developed, according to Dzaluk and Steve Sams, vice president of Site and Facilities Services for IBM.

As more customers come in and bring with them their various computing needs, Dzaluk said he expects that essentially every type of IBM system-from its iDataPlex server arrays and System z mainframes to its Power and System x servers, along with storage boxes-will be deployed.

The facility also will support cloud computing, which relies heavily on virtualization and other such technologies and helps reduce hardware capital and operational costs. IBM recently announced several cloud computing offerings, including Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud and Smart Business Desktop on the IBM Cloud, which can cut a company's infrastructure TCO by as much as 40 percent.

Such cloud computing capabilities enable clients to reduce hardware resources by as much as 70 percent, according to IBM.