Citing growth in cloud and mobile computing — thanks, in part, to the 1.1 billion new smartphones the company expects to hop on wireless networks this year — GE’s Energy Services president and CEO, Dan Heintzelman, makes the case for its latest buy. “Every new mobile device plugs into an infrastructure that requires an ever increasing amount of high-quality power. The growth in high-bandwidth mobile internet applications and cloud computing is accelerating that demand,” he states in a company release.
IDC predicts that cloud growth, especially surrounding the burgeoning private cloud market, will fuel brisk server sales for the foreseeable future. By IDC’s estimation, yearly private cloud server sales will reach $5.7 billion in 2014, more than double the $2.6 billion that server vendors banked in 2009. That’s a lot of new servers, and in this age of energy- and cost-awareness, data center operators have reason to turn their attention to their facilities’ ability to handle the crushing load — efficiently, of course.
Enter Lineage Power, which employs 2,300 workers and booked $450 million in revenue last year. The company specializes in DC power conversion equipment for data centers and telecommunications facilities. The field has been witnessing new levels of attention in recent years as IT companies set their sights on exploiting (and accounting for) every watt that enters the data center. And so, firms like IBM building next-gen data centers are looking beyond server efficiency and targeting other sources of inefficiency like power conversion and distribution systems.
Did GE make the smart move in acquiring Lineage? As the data center industry advances efficient data center power infrastructures — and countless other providers of web services follow suit — GE’s latest venture looks like a sure bet. Plus with Lineage, GE gets to enjoy the spoils of the white-hot cloud computing market while staying true to its strengths (power generation and distribution) and boosting its green cred to boot. A good fit, indeed.