|The Leading Source for Global News and Information Covering the Ecosystem of High Productivity Computing / April 23, 2008|
New design leverages BladeCenter, Linux and cloud technologies; can eliminate need for air conditioning in the datacenter
SAN FRANCISCO, April 23 -- IBM introduced today an entirely new category of server uniquely designed to address the technology needs of companies that use Web 2.0-style computing to operate massive datacenters with tens of thousands of servers.
Companies that operate massive scale-out datacenters spend 10 to 30 times more on energy costs per square foot than a typical office building (1). The energy powers both hundreds of thousands of servers and the air conditioning needed to cool them. The exponential growth of such datacenters will continue as streaming video, online gaming and social networks spike Internet traffic, requiring companies to build ever vaster pools of computers that devour energy resources to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The IBM "iDataPlex" system leverages IBM's blade server heritage to build a completely new design that:
IBM iDataPlex is a new rack system featuring design innovations in cooling and efficiency that can help replace the inefficient "white-box" servers commonly used by Internet companies. As consumers demand richer content and more immediate access to Web-based applications, iDataPlex can allow online gaming, social network, Search and Internet companies to scale rapidly to meet this need. The system will further IBM's ability to meet the requirements of what WinterGreen Research calls a $10 billion market (3).
"Enterprise Web 2.0 and the emerging Cloud Computing sectors are among the top high growth investment areas for Hummer Winblad," said Ann Winblad, co-founder and a managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, an investor in enterprise Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing startups like Widgetbox, Sliderocket, Wavemaker, Elastra and Move Networks. "iDataPlex will help to fuel this growth by erasing some of the inhibitors holding Web 2.0 back -- namely the amount of space and energy required to serve content to more and more end users."
Commercializing Web 2.0-Style Computing
Taking a page from the Internet's model, iDataPlex is built for stateless computing that effectively turns many separate computers into a pool of shared resources or "cloud."
"With iDataPlex, IBM is making Web 2.0-style computing more efficient and commercializing it for Internet companies and other high performance segments like financial services and research," said Bill Zeitler, senior vice president of IBM Systems and Technology Group. "iDataPlex can provide a foundation that companies can build on to provide improved services to Web users around the world."
iDataplex will be an important element in helping clients develop a new enterprise datacenter, which offers dramatic improvements in IT efficiency and provides for rapid deployment of new IT services to support future business growth. IBM is helping clients move to new enterprise datacenters by focusing on best practices around virtualization, green IT, service management and cloud computing.
New Delivery Model -- Made to Order
Each iDataPlex system can be made to order and arrive to the client integrated and ready to run from the factory. This unique delivery model also helps to keep the cost of iDataPlex well below that of a comparable number of "white box" systems.
IBM will deliver the iDataPlex system to clients globally. Among early clients who have adopted or are actively considering iDataPlex are Web 2.0 companies and other organizations from China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, including:
iDataPlex in the Cloud
As part of IBM's "Blue Cloud" initiative, iDataPlex helps companies respond quickly to changes in workload demand, thus using energy more efficiently and improving the use of resources like power.
iDataPlex provides an ideal foundation for both enterprise cloud computing initiatives and clouds designed to host Web 2.0 applications.
Start-ups such as virtual-worlds company Forterra Systems are accessing an iDataPlex system in the IBM High Performance On Demand Solutions (HiPODS) lab in San Jose, Calif., to test their applications in an IBM Cloud Center running on iDataPlex.
"Like many start-ups, technology really is our core business in that Forterra's applications and business model rely on our technology infrastructure for success," said Dave Rolston, CEO, Forterra Systems. "iDataPlex provides the flexibility we're looking for to run our OLIVE -- or On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment -- platform together with breakthrough power and cooling efficiencies that we can pass on to our customers in the form of higher returns and faster payback."
IBM also plans to use iDataplex in its IBM Cloud Computing Centers in other locations such as the IBM Cloud Computing Center at Dublin and at the IBM Almaden Research Center.
iDataPlex is the latest element in IBM's portfolio of offerings for the Web 2.0 datacenter market, including:
Technology Partner Ecosystem
Similar to its strategy to foster an ecosystem of third party technologies that work with IBM BladeCenter, IBM will team with vendors including Avocent, Blade Network Technology, Devon IT, Force 10 Networks, Intel, QLogic and SMC Networks to drive a product ecosystem around iDataPlex. Blade Network Technologies, for example, built its new RackSwitch G8000 Ethernet switch -- optimized for cost and efficient cooling -- specifically for iDataPlex.
"Web 2.0 companies will drive computing demand to a whole new level as we move from the Web as we knew it to the Web of the future. That's why Intel has been excited to be a part of the iDataPlex project from the beginning," said Jason Waxman, general manager of high density computing at Intel. "Collaborating with Intel, IBM took a different approach to design iDataPlex from the ground up to meet the needs of this unique market. iDataPlex is a tremendous step forward in delivering efficient, dense technology to Web 2.0 companies."
In addition, the Linux operating system from IBM distribution partners Novell and Red Hat will be supported on iDataPlex as will the open source, scale-out cluster management solution xCat. iDataPlex is the latest IBM offering that embraces Linux, which is the preferred operating system for many Web 2.0 environments, as well as companies embracing Linux for business-critical workloads. It also addresses customers concerns about energy consumption, which is a goal of IBM's "Big Green Linux" initiative.
iDataPlex is a natural complement to IBM's software initiatives in social networking, unified messaging and information integration, allowing Web 2.0 companies to offer open, secure and standards-based solutions to their customers. IBM is also applying the latest Web 2.0 technologies internally to improve its own enterprise productivity, collaboration and innovation, and to drive measurable business results globally.
iDataPlex will be available in the US and Canada in June and globally by the end of the year. iDataPlex is a custom built solution. Contact an IBM sales representative for configuration and pricing details.
(1) Gary Shanshoian, Michele Blazek, Phil Naughton, Robert S. Seese, Evan Mills, and William Tschudi, "High-Tech Means High-Efficiency: The Business Case for Energy Management in High-Tech Industries."
(2) 5X density achieved using IBM Rear Door Heat Exchanger and Intel's latest Quad Core Xeon processors. iDataPlex uses 40 percent less power than typical 1U servers.
(3) WinterGreen Research: Web 2.0 Servers Market Shares and Forecasts, April 2008.