IBM launches its own data center alliance

In a world already populated by the Green Grid Alliance and other industry groups oriented to energy efficiency, IBM has just rolled out a data center alliance with some similar interests.

In an interview with BetaNews, Rich Lechner, VP of IBM's Enterprise Systems, said that that his company's new alliance program for enterprise data centers will work hand-in-hand with other industry groups, including Green Grid, DMTF (Desktop Management Task Force), and SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Alliance).

"IBM was itself a founding member of the Green Grid Alliance," Lechner noted. IBM also belongs to DMTF and SNIA, and many of the members of IBM's own new data center alliance are affiliated with one or more of the other groups.

The Green Grid Alliance -- which also numbers Sun and Microsoft among its more than 150 members -- is using the DMTF's WBEM (Web-based Enterprise Management) standard for distributed computing as the basis for interfaces it is creating as part of its own standardized technology for managing energy use across multiple vendors' platforms.

But Green Grid officials have also been careful to point out that, with their own special focus on green computing, they view their work as separate and distinct from that of either the DMTF or SNIA.

Meanwhile, IBM's new alliance will focus not just on energy efficiency, but also on virtualization and "resilience," according to Lechner.

"We will work for and promote adoption of industry standards [around these areas] within [our] own membership. We won't be replacing [other groups], but complementing them," he told BetaNews.

Lechner acknowledged that the main reason behind IBM's own new alliance is to ensure interoperability, especially between IBM and major third-party data center partners such as Sun, Novell, Red Hat, VMWare, Juniper Networks, Citrix, Emulex, and Eaton.

"We'll identify key standards, define implementations, and integrate them into our point of view and product plans. All of the [IBM alliance] players will then publicly commit to them," BetaNews was told.

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