IBM has unveiled eleven new servers that meet stringent version 2.0 guidelines now in effect under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR® program.

A virtual explosion of data, estimated at 2.5 quintillion bytes a day and growing, is driving up energy costs in data centers. Qualifying criteria for the new ENERGY STAR rating — including features such as efficient power supplies, real time power usage measurement, advanced power management for lowering usage during idle periods — can help organizations dramatically lower the amount of energy required to run data centers increasingly under pressure to handle more data more efficiently.

IBM's servers that have earned the ENERGY STAR cover the full range of IBM's two and four socket systems: four from IBM's Power Systems line-up; and seven from the IBM System x and Pure Flex series.

According to the EPA, computer servers that earn the ENERGY STAR designation will, on average, be 30% more energy efficient than standard servers.1 The agency also predicts that if all servers sold in the United States were to meet ENERGY STAR specifications, energy cost savings would approach $800 million per year and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from over one million vehicles.

"Energy efficiency is good for data centers' bottom lines and good for the planet," according to Wayne Balta, vice president of IBM Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety. "It doesn't make sense to just 'add a server' to a data center without considering energy efficiency. Our new ENERGY STAR qualified servers are the latest example of IBM pursuing environmental sustainability for clients and our own operations."

Server environmental efficiency has increasingly played a key role in IBM server wins in and beyond the United States. Indigo, Canada's largest book, lifestyle and specialty toy retailer maintains over 230 physical store locations countrywide as well as operates Canada's leading online specialty retail business. Maintaining its mission-critical data center just outside of Toronto, the company takes its power consumption seriously. This year Indigo upgraded its data center with new ENERGY STAR qualified Power 760 servers.

"Data center costs can eat away at our profit, so maintaining a highly efficient IT infrastructure is essential for our company," said Ben Turgeon, vice president of IT operations at Indigo.

Having had previous generations of energy efficient Power Systems running their data center since 2006, Indigo reports that their data center power consumption is exactly what it was seven years ago equating to an overall net reduction of 35% in the last five years.