Green-tech innovations emerge in Japan

Some interesting green IT solutions are brewing in the Land of the Rising Sun

Greentech Media has an interesting report on some of the green-tech innovations coming out of Japan, a country I admittedly haven't been watching very closely. The publication's staff attended an electronics show in Tokyo called CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies)and stumbled across some notable green-tech products.

Three innovations, in particular, stand out to me (at least in terms of products that would be of interest to enterprise IT). First, according to the article, Mitsubishi is planning to release come spring a software package "that lets corporate managers see the energy and resource consumption over their own wide-flung operations." A CIO of a department store chain could, for example, see how much power and water is being consumed at each outlet and could compare relative efficiency of different stores. "In a sense, it is similar to the grid monitoring tools being touted by U.S. companies and being bought by utilities, but it's for in-house use. The application does not yet allow CIOs to dynamically control power consumption; however, that's a feature that will be added in the future," the report says.

[ Learn more about the power of the smart grid by reading "Power delivery, the smart way." ]

Two other notable enterprise-oriented innovations from the Tokyo show: First, a company called Forvice "produces a small, self-contained housing for a single server rack. The fans are in a panel at the bottom of the rack and the equipment goes inside the glass case," Greentech Media reports. "It sort of looks like a phone booth or an upright aquarium. Sequestering server racks in individual pods, versus contained rows, can cut CO2 output and power consumption in datacenter cooling by 24 percent, the company claims."

Finally, Plat Home revealed hand-sized Web servers, which are based around old PowerPC processors and solid-state drives. These machines consume a mere 4.5 to 7.5 watts of power, "far less than your average Intel box," the article notes.