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IBM mainframe sees brisk sales: News in brief

Led by the IBM mainframe, server revenues showed healthy growth in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to IDC; and the Green Grid unveiled its Data Center Maturity Model.

Mainframe refreshes give IBM top spot in IDC server rankings
Data centers bought a lot of servers last quarter, increasing server-related revenue by 15.3% year over year, for the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.

IBM mainframes led the charge. Following the release of the zEnterprise 196 this past summer, IBM mainframe shops purchased new mainframes in droves, driving 69.1% year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2010, for the second quarter of revenue growth. That pushed IBM to the top spot for overall server revenue, with 37.4% market share, leading Hewlett-Packard (29.9%), Dell (12.6%) and Sun/Oracle (5.5%).

Following closely on the mainframe’s heels, Q4 Linux server revenue grew 29.3% year over year, on a unit shipment increase of 9.8%. Microsoft Windows server revenue also improved by 16.8%, and its $6.3 billion in quarterly revenue represented 42.1% of the total market, IDC said.

Unix systems revenue, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well, declining 0.4% year-over-year. In particular, sales of Sun/Oracle hardware declined by 14.4% in that period.

The Green Grid grades data centers on resource efficiency
The Green Grid Association detailed its new Data Center Maturity Model at its recent annual Technical Forum and Members meeting. The model is intended to help data centers evaluate their resource efficiency on a scale of 0 (“Minimal”) to 5 (“Visionary”).

Further, the group’s Utility Task Force released white papers designed to help data center managers work better with U.S. utility companies, and to better understand server virtualization utility incentive programs. The group also detailed its “global harmonization” efforts in which it works with international governing bodies to establish consistent data center efficiency metrics.

Finally, building on its Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric, the Green Grid unveiled the Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) for assessing the water used in operating a data center; Energy Reuse Effectiveness (ERE), for measuring the benefit of reusing energy from a data center; and Data Center Compute Efficiency (DCcE) to determine the overall efficiency of a data center’s compute resources.

The Green Grid is an IT consortium made up of vendors and end users hoping to improve data center sustainability.

Process logs with Flume and Cassandra
Gemini Mobile Technologies released the Flume-Cassandra Log Processor last week. This open source software collects and aggregates large volumes of system logs and processes them in graphical report format. That can improve analysis of online operations without the need for relational databases, the company said. The tool can be downloaded from Github.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Alex Barrett, News Director at, or follow @aebarrett on twitter.

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