IBM officials are touting the power-on-demand capabilities of their servers as a key factor in their ability to convince toy maker Lego Co. to switch its infrastructure from Hewlett-Packard Co. products.
According to an announcement being released Monday, IBM said that Lego will consolidate the work done on 230 HP systems onto 34 IBM servers, including two 32-processor p690 and four eight-way p650 Unix-based systems and 24 Intel-based x440 servers, which can hold four to 32 chips.
In addition, Lego bought four Shark storage area network (SAN) servers and IBMs Tivoli Storage Manager software.
Financial terms of the deal were not released.
According to Hal Yarbrough, senior director of Lego Global IT, being able to drastically reduce the number of servers was important to the Denmark-based company.
"However, the key reason for going with IBM was the flexibility their solution offered," Yarbrough said in a prepared statement. "IBM was able to provide an on-demand solution that matched our business needs for a cohesive, worldwide IT infrastructure that adapts itself to our very cyclical business and need for rapid introduction of new products."
IBMs processor power-on-demand capabilities enable businesses to buy servers with only some of the processors turned on. As demand for more power grows—such as during the holiday season for retail companies—customers can turn on additional processors. After the demand subsides, the processors can be turned off, and the customer pays only for the power they used.
This capability is a key part of IBMs on-demand computing initiative, a strategy designed to create more flexible and dynamic IT infrastructures that can more quickly address the business needs of an enterprise. The Armonk, N.Y., companys initiative has similar goals as other data center virtualization strategies, including HPs Adaptive Enterprise and Sun Microsystems Inc.s N1 pushes.
All are aimed at more closely tying an enterprises IT resources with its business processes.
Lego officials say they intend to reinvest the cost savings from their server consolidation push into other IT projects, including enhancing their customer relationship management capabilities.