Big Blue Gets Lean and Green


Before the sun sets on another Earth Day (or at least before the clock strikes midnight) IBM has squeezed in its announcement of some very cool servers designed for cloud computing. No, they’re actually cool: The iDataPlex servers run at room temperature, which means they require less less air conditioning. IBM doesn’t say what room temperature is, but will use water to cool the servers — much like the company is pushing water-cooled microprocessors in its Hydro-Cluster supercomputer.

The H2O is cooling a 4-foot-by-2-foot rack with the equivalent processing power of 100 servers, so the iDataPlex server takes up less floor space inside a data center. There’s also an option to get the non water-cooled servers, which reduce power consumption by about 20 percent, but will still add to the overall A/C bill. Information about pricing wasn’t given, but I imagine these will not come cheap.

A green effort by a computing giant, the servers are also a practical nod to the incredible amount of processing power the world is continuing to consume. These servers are designed to support the web-based applications and services that many firms, from Facebook to Google, are pushing. Instead of running  programs and storing data on a personal computer, the action now takes place in a data center somewhere.

IBM is designing energy efficiency into servers supporting this business model not only as a PR move, but also as a nod to reality. With more and more information being processed in the cloud, it’s becoming more and more difficult to justify the enormous amounts of power data centers consume. Now, let’s see what iDataPlex servers cost.

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Our company does thermal imaging as our core business and the bottom of the top two photographs looks unique? Its very rare that you would get as solid blue for your lower spectrum across one plane like that in the image. Based on the variability in the photo above it, you would more likely see similar variability within the case of the lower image. If it were in fact truely the same subject only cooler, you would still see the variability but it would be shades of blue, not simply solid blue as currently pictured. Since the reference degrees are different in both images would lead me to believe that auto calibration was on during the image taking.
Perhaps I’m totally wrong, but I look at a-lot of thermal images every day and it seems out of place. Or perhaps its simply a reference image to drive a point. I understand its picky, but just an observation…


It definitely won´t be cheap, but it is designed for big companies that can afford it.

Jay Urbanski

In the bottom picture the heat is reduced because they have turned on the water for the rear door heat exchanger.

Jay Parkhill

I hope they include schematics for pumping the heated water into the building’s hot water supply as well. That would get extra Earth Day points.


Hmm. So I guess in the top picture some of the heat on the human body is from the server? I don’t understand why the heat is reduced from the human in the second picture.

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