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Measure by measure: IBM service helps companies document energy reduction efforts

Wanted to share some more details on IBM’s new Efficiency Certificates initiative, mentioned last week by Dan Farber in this Between the Lines entry.The service, provided in partnership with Neuwing Energy Ventures, provides an assessment of energy usage patterns and reductions for data center projects.

Wanted to share some more details on IBM’s new Efficiency Certificates initiative, mentioned last week by Dan Farber in this Between the Lines entry.

The service, provided in partnership with Neuwing Energy Ventures, provides an assessment of energy usage patterns and reductions for data center projects. As Dan mentions, it works by tapping information provided by the Active Energy Manager, which lets you control energy consumption metrics. Any energy efficiency efforts adopted by a client based on IBM recommendations can be evaluated and documented by Neuwing, and a certificate is issued (which the company use in whatever way they see fit).

The verification and certification service specifically focuses right now on IBM's mainframe offering (the so-called System z series) but will click on later this year for the Power series servers (aka System p servers), according to Rich Lechner, vice president of IT optimization for IBM. The company’s System x servers (including the blade designs) will be supported next year, he says.

Lechner says there are three primary motivators for corporate energy use reduction efforts. 1. Economic Realities: As computing demand increases, companies are trying to limit a parallel increase in energy consumption that will contribute to their facility costs 2. Operational Concerns: Some companies have maxed out their data centers and can’t add any more processing power until they figure out how to dissipate the heat. 3. Corporate Responsibility: Some businesses are trying to document their “green” initiatives more closely, and CIOs are expected to provide proof of their ability to go along with corporate sustainability practices.

Here’s some more of Lechner's thoughts about the program.

When pressed for results, Lechner says the certificate program currently is in pilot with several customers but he doesn't have any data to share. IBM does plan to encourage its business partners (VARs, resellers and the like) to suggest the service to their customers, especially as they consider ways to provide return on investment metrics for data center consolidation projects.

Given the corporate predilection to document any kind of anything in triplicate, I would imagine that programs like the IBM one will catch on. Shouldn't be surprised to see some similar offerings, especially from the likes of Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems.