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IBM - Project Big Green

Added on 22-03-2013





Business challenge

In today's digital economy, reliable and affordable energy is rapidly becoming a critical economic enabler worldwide. But energy demand and its availability are on a collision course.

As a result, businesses face a big problem: their data center energy costs keep climbing. Organizations will spend an estimated $29 billion globally this year to power and cool IT systems, and the cost to power and cool the global installed base of servers is projected to increase by 54 percent in the next four years, according to analyst firm IDC.

In addition to energy scarcity and cost problems, companies in all industries must now consider how their energy use and conservation affects the level of CO2 emissions, which can cause climate change.


Drawing on our experience, technology leadership and innovative thinking, IBM has launched an initiative called "Project Big Green." Through this initiative, we will invest more than $1 billion per year to accelerate delivery of green technologies and services.

Project Big Green starts with a roadmap we've developed for both ourselves and our clients to measure, understand and take action to address the IT energy crisis.

Clients following that roadmap can reduce the total energy consumption of a 25,000 square foot data center by an average of 42 percent.

To prove these savings are real, IBM will follow the same basic roadmap. We have the world's largest commercial technology infrastructure with more than eight million square feet of data centers on six continents, which can provide very significant savings. Energy efficient data center design, energy-saving servers and infrastructure will save the company more than five billion kilowatts of energy per year in power and cooling requirements.

IBM's roadmap to a green data center includes:

  • Reviewing existing facilities, using the latest 3-D modeling to evaluate current thermal footprints in data centers;
  • Planning ,designing and building an energy-smart data center;
  • Using virtualized infrastructure and specialty processor-based servers;
  • Incorporating "Cool Blue" software technologies from Tivoli within the data center;
  • Using liquid cooling and other advanced cooling techniques to reduce energy demand.


Projects which involve high levels of commitment on the part of the implementing organisation will always face considerable investment and physical constraints but the approach with IBM Project Big Green has taken allows customers to implement change by starting small and at their own pace. Customers can start implementing parts of the total solution immediately and see benefits accrue as the projects develops.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

IBM is implementing Project Big Green internally and we are already seeing benefits already in reductions in energy consumption levels and costs. Using the IBM Project Big Green techniques we plan to double the computing capacity of our own data centers within three years - without increasing power consumption or our carbon footprint.

The Big Green Solutions are available to clients and they already have responded very positively to the Project

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