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Continuing its push to package consulting expertise, IBM Global Services introduced on Oct. 10 five offerings aimed at the data center. The packages include the use of software to model data center requirements, planning and performance

“We can predict with a fair amount of certainty how to optimize costs and designs,” said Lehman, said Bret Lehman, director of site and facilities services at IGS. Lehman said that to meet capacity requirements in the next several years, between 70 and 77 percent of data centers will need to consolidate and upgrade.

The packages are: High Density Computing Readiness Assessment, starting at $30,000; Thermal Analysis for High Density Computing, starting at $12,000; Integrated Rack Solution for High Density Computing, priced according to size and complexity; Data Center Global Consolidation and Relocation Enablement, priced starting at $50,000; and Scalable Modular Data Center for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, priced starting at $400,000. All prices quoted increase according to the scope of the project.

Rick Siner, director of technical services at Priority Health, a health plan company based in Grand Rapids, Mich., used IBM services even though Priority Health’s data centers are populated with Hewlett-Packard servers and storage systems, along with Cisco networking gear.

With some 250 servers, Priority Health wanted to build a new data center in Grand Rapids, along with a backup site in the same city. “IBM was involved in the primary site design and planning. When it came to services at that point, HP wasn’t quite there,” said Siner. The primary data center was opened in September 2004, and the secondary site will be occupied in early 2007, he said. The secondary data center is more than 10 miles away on the other side of town and in a different power grid.

IGS personnel used IBM CAD tools into which an IBM rep inputted specifications and requirements for the new data center. IBM also helped construct a command center for the different data center operations, covering the main campus and four remote locations, Siner said. The cost was under $5 million, Siner said.

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