As data centers grow and their power bills approach the market value of the hardware and software platforms that are employed within, several companies including IBM are aiming to trim down their power expenses and to implement new “green” technologies. In fact, data center energy consumption reaches $2.7 billion per year in the U.S. and $7.3 billion worldwide. And the costs are only rising. That’s why IBM has taken matters into its own hands and has managed to revise the old concept of the mainframe computer and adopted it into a new, highly efficient processing machine.
“‘The cost of energy, power to run computers, storage, and networking equipment, as well as the power to the cooling equipment, is becoming the highest single cost of managing a datacenter,’ says David Gelardi, VP of industry solutions at IBM. ‘We have an opportunity with systems management tools, with Linux, and with virtualization, to be able to take the workloads that are principally running on much smaller, underutilized Unix servers and move them over to those 30 very large mainframes.’”
What’s interesting is that IBM is not the only company that believes that mainframes will be the key to green computing within those enormous data centers. Reports from RFG (Robert Frances Group) state that mainframes are more energy efficient than contemporary servers and their processing power is increasing faster. “Mainframe systems consume less power, both in absolute and relative terms [than standard servers]. Typically, mainframe power densities are less than half of those of current rack and blade distributed systems. When looking at like workloads, the amount of energy consumed falls precipitously, in some cases the costs associated for power needed for an application are reduced by a factor of 600.”