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IBM Sees Green in Energy Certification

IBM has unveiled a program that will give users of its System z mainframes and System p servers access to third-party certification they can use to get energy credit from their state government or other trading partners.

The program, called Efficiency Certificates, is part of Big Blue's
green IT initiative announced earlier this year. It is offered as part of IBM's data center services.

To benefit, though, you'll need new IBM equipment and a fat wallet. This service isn't for the SMB. It will also help if you're a utility provider.

Here's how it works:

  1. You call IBM. IBM comes to your site. At the same time or separately, a representative lands from Neuwing Energy Ventures, a financial services firm involved in the emerging business of energy efficiency certification. (More on that in a minute.)
  2. You have IBM and Neuwing scope out your existing setup. IBM then installs new equipment and software, maybe throwing in some suggestions on other ways you can save more power in your data center.
  3. Everyone goes home for awhile.
  4. Neuwing returns. The firm, alone or through a partner, scopes out your data center, using specially devised metrics to gauge how much energy in terms of megawatt hours your new setup is saving compared against its initial assessment. To gauge the difference, Neuwing will use IBM's internal mainframe and server monitors as well as measurements from UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) or metered breakers.
  5. You get certificates. Neuwing will award you an Energy Efficiency Certificate (EEC) representing the amount of electricity savings you have realized from the upgrades you've made. (More on what you can do with the EECs momentarily.)
  6. You pay everyone.

IBM says it plans to extend the certification program to upgrades of other data center equipment, including its storage wares, sometime in 2008, though no date's specified.

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