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I took some of IBM’s 5000 strong Virtual Universe Community (which I used to lead) around the Virtual Green Data Center today.  Seemed to be pretty impressed, which was great.   I had one of those “only in Second Life” moments when my photo of the day was of a zombie with long hair wearing one of our Green T shirts…

I have been running regular tours of the Virtual Green Data Center, both in Second Life, and also simultaneously streaming them online using Mogulus. This is really great, as it allows us to invite everyone, even those who can’t or won’t come into Second Life, and still have a degree of interaction. This tends to work really well if I am supporting someone else running the tour as I can fly my camera around to focus in on what they are talking about. My new 3D connexion mouse thingy and the Second Life Release candidate make that a pleasure as I can execute smooth pans and zooms without the need for pre-setup camera positions, making it better viewing for our online participants.

The other nice thing about Mogulus, is that you can embed their player into your page, so somehow we got dispensation to embed it into an ibm.com page, and placed it in our Business Center page. Currently it plays a 2 minute video about the Green Data Center (narrated by my multi-talented) wife, but can be switched live to show a tour of the data center or indeed anything else.

The big story in IBM-land as far as I am concered, is our new Virtual Green Data Center. This is an exhibition showing many of IBM’s “green” technologies for making data center environmentally friendly and cheaper to run.

IBM Virtual Green Data Center

IBM Virtual Green Data Center

IBM does have real world Green Data Centers that clients can visit, but this virtual version is great for us as it allows us to introduce the concepts in a very visual and engaging way, much earlier in the sales cycle. It also allows for the events themselves to be green as no one is having to travel to the event.

The center houses a variety of cool demos including a nice little trolley which whizzes around and measures the temperature around the center and delivers to you a 3D thermal heat map.

Also demonstrated are best practices such as arrange servers into hot and cold isles, rear door heat exchangers and arranging underfloor cabling neatly to avoid hotspots.

Well, after a blogging vacation, Boris is back. A lot has happened in the virtual world, and in particular my bit of it in IBM land. IBM.com has launched it’s 2-island sim in Second Life, and more recently has launched a “Virtual Green Data Center” – more on that soon. Boris has hosted a few more Wonderland shows using the very cool “Mogulus” web application, and will be back on the air net soon – probably with a bit more of a business flavour.

What else is new… I attended the Virtual Worlds conference in New York a few months back, which was great chance to catch up with the myriad of IBMers working in virtual worlds. It was quite funny – the fact that there were clients there was almost a side issue, as it was just so cool to finally meet people I’d worked with virtually for so long – including my boss!

On the conference theme, I am getting ready for the two coming up in London in October. Am hoping to speak on the aforementioned Virtual Green Data Center at one of them.

Finally, for now, I have had a quick play with Google’s new “Lively” 3D application. This is encouraging in some ways, as it again helps put virtual world higher up the agenda. I have to say though this feels a pretty early effort, with many on the forums feeling short-changed. It has more a feeling of an alpha than even a beta, and in that sense is a bit un-google like. However, I am sure Google will sort it and I don’t doubt will gain some mind share simply because it’s a google thing. That can only be good for us all. I do think that the browser is the way to go for mass acceptance of virtual worlds – flash based etc. so no further downloads. That would also be ideal for my wife’s new Photography business: Sarah Aires Photography. We could create online 3D galleries of her portfolio or even private galleries for clients.

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August 2008
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