IBM Debuts New Category of Server for Web 2.0 Computing

Apr 23, 2008

IBM introduced today an entirely new category of server uniquely designed to address the technology needs of companies that use Web 2.0-style computing to operate massive data centers with tens of thousands of servers.

Companies that operate massive scale-out data centers spend 10 to 30 times more on energy costs per square foot than a typical office building. The energy powers both hundreds of thousands of servers and the air conditioning needed to cool them. The exponential growth of such data centers will continue as streaming video, online gaming and social networks spike Internet traffic, requiring companies to build ever vaster pools of computers that devour energy resources to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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The IBM "iDataPlex" system leverages IBM's blade server heritage to build a completely new design that:

-- More than doubles the number of systems that can run in a single IBM rack,
-- Uses 40 percent less power while increasing the amount of computing that can be done 5X,
-- Can be outfitted with a liquid cooled wall on the back of the system that enables it to run at "room temperature" -- no air conditioning required,
-- Uses all industry standard components as well as open source software such as Linux to help lower costs.

IBM iDataPlex is a new rack system featuring design innovations in cooling and efficiency that can help replace the inefficient "white-box" servers commonly used by Internet companies. As consumers demand richer content and more immediate access to Web-based applications, iDataPlex can allow online gaming, social network, Search and Internet companies to scale rapidly to meet this need. The system will further IBM's ability to meet the requirements of what WinterGreen Research calls a $10 billion market.

"Enterprise Web 2.0 and the emerging Cloud Computing sectors are among the top high growth investment areas for Hummer Winblad," said Ann Winblad, co-founder and a managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, an investor in enterprise Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing startups like Widgetbox, Sliderocket, Wavemaker, Elastra and Move Networks. "iDataPlex will help to fuel this growth by erasing some of the inhibitors holding Web 2.0 back -- namely the amount of space and energy required to serve content to more and more end users."

Taking a page from the Internet's model, iDataPlex is built for stateless computing that effectively turns many separate computers into a pool of shared resources or "cloud."

"With iDataPlex, IBM is making Web 2.0-style computing more efficient and commercializing it for Internet companies and other high performance segments like financial services and research," said Bill Zeitler, senior vice president of IBM Systems and Technology Group. "iDataPlex can provide a foundation that companies can build on to provide improved services to Web users around the world."

iDataplex will be an important element in helping clients develop a new enterprise data center, which offers dramatic improvements in IT efficiency and provides for rapid deployment of new IT services to support future business growth. IBM is helping clients move to new enterprise data centers by focusing on best practices around virtualization, green IT, service management and cloud computing.

Source: IBM

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