Home IBM Wants a Piece of Web 2.0 Pie

IBM Wants a Piece of Web 2.0 Pie

IBM has just announced the introduction of a new server designed specifically for Web 2.0 sites. This rack-mounted server is designed for running popular and heavily trafficked web sites like MySpace, Facebook, or any other site that requires the computing power of a massive data center with tens of thousands of servers.

Introducing the iDataPlex

The server, called the IBM iDataPlex, is a blade server running Linux and utilizing Intel’s quad-core Xeon processors. The system is designed to directly compete with the “white box” servers that are commonly used by internet companies.

In addition to being extremely powerful, the iDataPlex also introduces what can be considered “green” features. That is, the sever uses 40 percent less power thanks to its efficient cooling system and unique form factor.

Traditionally, cooling systems blow air over servers back to front, and, as servers go deeper, more energy is needed to cool them. With the iDataPlex, the server is wider, but smaller – only 15 inches deep instead of the typical 25, which lets the fans run at a lower velocity, saving “about 67 percent on the fan energy alone,” said Gregg McKnight, CTO of IBM’s modular systems group, in an InfoWorld article about the system.

Additionally, an optional liquid cooling system allows the iDataPlex to run at room temperatures, no A/C needed. This will be a big help to the companies whose servers run out of these massive data centers today – often spending 10 – 30 times more on energy costs per square foot than a typical office building due to the need to power the servers and cool them.

Even without watercooling iDataplex is still at least 20% cooler then the conventional rack approach. This photo (above) was taken in IBM’s Thermal Lab, showing the iDataPlex without the liquid cooled door (red) and with it (blue)

A Change for IBM

Typically, IBM and other server vendors produce expensive, high-end machines that have high levels of redundancy, but for Web 2.0 companies, that level of redundancy is not needed. If a server drops off, it just stays dead while the rest of the cloud picks up the slack seamlessly. In companies the size of Google, for example, dead machines are just left on the rack.

It’s clear that IBM sees the writing on the wall – the enterprise datacenters of the future are going to be all about virtualization, green IT, service management, and cloud computing. As part of IBM’s “Blue Cloud” initiative, the iDataPlex is a sign of IBM’s commitment to the emerging cloud computing platform.

You can learn more about the new iDataPlex servers from this YouTube video:

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