Thursday, 30 October 2008

IBM's Green Software

IBM has made several announcements around software designed to help companies become greener. These include:

- New Content Collection and Archiving software that helps reduce storage and retrieval costs whilst also helping manage e-mails and integrate into a common Enterprise Content Management infrastructure

- The next release of Lotus Notes 8.5 and Domino software, due in Q1 2009, includes Domino Attachment Object Service, which ensures that only one copy of the file attachment is kept on each mail server, reducing storage requirements and associated costs. The company has estimated savings of 35% of storage space for the average business.

- Also available is an updated SmartSOA Sandbox which provides information about how IBM SOA middleware can help with energy management enabled by SOA.

- IBM has combined existing Tivoli software, including Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management, to give companies the capability to monitor and charge back energy costs within their organisations. Data can be collected and analysed by individual application, service, machine or department. There's a dashboard to help identify top users and use trends.

- There are new products and capabilities to help companies use IT assets to reduce energy consumption. Rational Test Lab Manager configures, builds and manages the use of physical and virtual machines to help conserve energy. New analytics and reporting capabilities in Telelogic System Architect (available through a free download) help organisations with energy impact analysis, e.g. analysis and virtualisation of current and future power consumption by location, application, processes, strategies and staff.

- Combining software from IBM and C-Lock Technology, Enterprise Information Management (EIM) has released a new beta version of a greenhouse gas meter which helps organisations in multiple industries measure, verify and report Greenhouse Gas emissions.

- A new Energy and Environment Self-Assessment Tool is coming (at no cost), which analyses the current status of an organisation and recommends steps that can be taken to address issues such as compliance requirements, improving energy efficiency, etc.

- IBM has also created a new technical validation team to help Business Partners and IT professionals create solutions to reduce energy use and lower the impact of IT on the environment.

What's interesting here is that the offerings and initiatives fall into two areas. Firstly various tools to help measure and monitor energy use and emissions in organisations. Secondly, specific changes to products to help them run more efficiently, in terms of energy use.

This second aspect is one that we don't hear of much but is going to become increasingly important when addressing IT department carbon emissions. A lot can be done in the data centre to reduce energy requirements, but there is also a lot that can be done in the software coding to reduce the demand in the first place. Much will depend on the cost/benefit of re-writing code, but the growth of multi-core processors is starting to add weight to the argument. Multi-core is much more power efficient, but legacy systems can't take advantage of the technology without significant re-working.

© The Green IT Review

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