IBM to Build University Green Data Center

Software giant IBM ( has been selected by Melbourne's Victoria University ( to design and build the university's first green data center, which could potentially save the university more than 230 tons of carbon emissions per year.

Sun Microsystems recently rejected a $7 billion acquisition offer from IBM, potentially hurting its chances of competing against rivals like Hewlett-Packard in the servers, storage and software offerings market.

In addition to reducing its carbon emissions, the data center will allow the university to manage its rising need for data management and save up to $300,000 in power costs over the next 10 years, says VU's pro vice chancellor Stephen Weller.

IBM says the data center's modular design will help reduce the university's start-up energy demands.

As a result, the university will consume up to 45 percent less power than a conventional design, helping it to save more than 300,000 kW per year of energy.

Based on a cost-effective design, IBM will build a single logical data center across two physical sites to provide educational services and administrative resources to the more than 45,000 students at 11 campuses and sites from the CBD across Melbourne's west.

According to Malcolm Mackay, IBM Australia executive, site and facilities services, the VU solution will offer a high level of reliability because the power and cooling systems have been designed for high availability, as well offer scalability with little or no downtime.

Weller adds that IBM will use an in-row cooling system that offers targeted cooling at the heat load source, combined with free cooling chiller plant technology.

IBM has long been involved in designing and building environmentally-friendly data centers.

Last June, the company opened a 115,000 square-foot facility in Boulder, Colorado which it called at the time its greenest data center in North America.

Though IBM and the VU signed the data center contract last month, neither of the parties have specified when the data center will open.

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