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ARMONK, NY & SAVANNAH, GA - 12 Apr 2007: BLADE SYSTEMS INSIGHT -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced additions to its line of energy-efficient BladeCenter and System x servers that will help clients reduce energy usage and associated CO2 emissions. The new systems feature the latest in low-voltage microprocessor technologies from AMD and Intel, and industry-first innovation for blade server computing with energy-smart flash-based storage.
Microprocessors can account for a sizable portion of the power used by a server. The new systems introduced by IBM today are based on low-voltage industry standard processors that provide the same application performance as their higher wattage cousins, but in some cases consume less power.
To put this in perspective, consider that for every kilowatt of electricity consumed, on average over a pound of CO2 is released into the environment. For example, with the new low-voltage, quad-core Intel-based blades introduced today, businesses can save up to 60 watts of energy per two-socket blade server and in an enterprise environment with 1000 blade servers can prevent the release of nearly 20,000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere over a year. That is the equivalent of the amount of CO2 produced by an air-traveler flying in a passenger jet round-trip from New York to London seven times.
"As the thirst for speed and capacity drives demand for more systems with faster processors, more memory, and more storage, thermostats and power meters in data centers are hitting a new high," said Dr. Tom Bradicich, IBM fellow and vice president, Systems and Technology Group. "IBM understands the critical need for increased performance without increased power consumption or increased physical footprint, and continues to drive innovation in energy-efficient systems design and proactive energy management solutions for customers."
To stretch energy-efficiency further, BladeCenter and System x servers also feature unique innovation from IBM, such as: Calibrated Vectored Cooling which manages air intake, fan placement and zone cooling technologies to maximize the air flow inside the blade and rack server for optimal cooling efficiency; and PowerExecutive which can help customers meter, control and cap power consumption across systems.
The systems also utilize energy-efficient power supplies. IBM first introduced the unique supplies in 2002 as part of BladeCenter and continues to lead the way with ever more energy efficient designs that deliver up to 85 percent efficiency in power supplies for the rack server line and as much as 90 percent power supply efficiency in the BladeCenter line. In addition to directly saving energy, low-voltage processors also enable the speed of fans used for cooling within the system to be decreased, which in turn further reduces power consumption and helps reduce noise levels.
Industry-First Energy-Efficient Storage Innovation for Blade Servers
As multi-core processors become mainstream, the performance, memory and storage capacity required to run applications will also significantly increase. Customers can choose to house more disk capacity locally or completely remove local storage from the blade servers by utilizing a 'diskless blade' strategy and consolidating the storage externally. A diskless approach will increase the reliability of a blade, by removing the only moving part on the blade; improve management to easily respond to fluctuations in capacity needs among a family of blades; and eliminate the cost of local drives per blade and the power consumed to run them.
Because all components of the flash card are solid state, the energy consumption of the IBM 4GB Modular Flash Drive is as much as 95 percent less than a traditional spinning hard drive. For a datacenter manager this means that the heat reduction inside each IBM BladeCenter can be up to 50 percent on storage components alone, which can result in reduced energy costs. Additionally, while average spin-up and seek time for conventional hard disk drives is around 15 milliseconds, that of a flash device is a mere 0.1 milliseconds.
The flash memory option can be used as a Linux boot device and as a storage device for lower bandwidth applications to complement shared storage architectures such as Network Attached Storage (NAS) or Storage Area Networks (SAN). Once the flash device helps a system boot, BladeCenter clients can utilize any fabric within IBM Virtual Fabric Architecture such as -- Fibre Channel, InfiniBand or 10G Ethernet -- to connect to the storage network.
Design innovation at the switch level can also drive further energy efficiency with blade systems. IBM is the only blade server vendor in the industry that has brought 10G Ethernet connectivity inside a blade system, directly to a blade server through collaboration with Blade.org members BLADE Network Technologies, Broadcom and NetXen. The 10G Ethernet switch from BLADE integrated into IBM BladeCenter provides optimal throughput between each BladeCenter server in a system and to the network core, and can be up to 95 percent more energy efficient than external switch offerings.
The new System x and BladeCenter servers available today include:
The IBM 4GB Modular Flash Drive option is available today for BladeCenter HS21 XM, a blade server that features higher processing performance at lower power levels, and is packed with up to 32GB of internal memory and up to eight I/O ports.
For more information on IBM, please visit: www.ibm.com