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A Perfect Game

The United States Bowling Congress strikes it big by virtualizing with BladeCenter

Jim Oberholtzer, VP of technology for the United States Bowling Congress, says it’s easy to set up its portable data center at tournament sites.

As with many consolidation stories such as this—although, in some ways, the USBC has taken consolidation to new levels—benefits extend beyond reduced floor space and systems maintenance. The USBC, for example, was able to dramatically reduce its energy consumption. Using IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager* module, the USBC was able to monitor and, during the Active Energy Manager’s trial period, manage power use within the H chassis.

Working in conjunction with power distribution units (PDUs), Active Energy Manager lets users dynamically control what IT assets they can, for example, idle based on use. In the USBC’s case, this meant a 50-percent cut in cooling requirements, with the organization going from 20 tons of data-center cooling to 10 tons. Additionally, the USBC now has the energy-use figures it needs to more finely tune the temperature settings in its data center.

“Today we run the data center at about 73 degrees. Using Active Energy Manager and intelligent PDUs, we’re going to be able to monitor that room very, very carefully and we’re going to start inching the ambient temperature up to between 75 and 78 degrees. That in itself is going to save us a ton of money,” Oberholtzer says.

Although the USBC isn’t using the dynamic energy-management functionality of the Active Energy Manager, having exhausted the free trial period, it’s now seriously considering doing so. Oberholtzer expects that when the organization does, it will save yet another 50 percent in cooling costs.

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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