Saturday, December 09, 2006

Why stop there?

Today, this article from The Register caught my attention:

US politicos demand cool servers

US politicians have joined the great call for energy-friendly data centers, as the Senate this week approved a bill that promotes low-power server technology.

Senators unanimously pushed through the legislation that asks the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the energy consumption of data centers. The EPA has been instructed to bone up on items such as low-power chips, power supplies and energy distribution. It will also consider how incentives could be used to promote power-efficient data centers in the government and private sectors.

Energy efficient computing is becoming more and more of a topic these days. I'm glad to see that politicians are finally putting in place legislation to promote green/cool computing.

Even utility companies have started to offer incentives to promote green/cool computing. A few months ago, PG&E teamed up with Sun to offer up to US$1,000 rebate for servers:

Sun Teams with PG&E On First Ever Rebate For Servers, Up To $1000 In Savings

Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: SUNW) today announced that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), one of the largest natural gas and electric utilities in the United States serving 350,000 California businesses, is offering significant rebates as part of a new energy incentive program for computer servers. The CoolThreads technology Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 servers -- which are three to five times more energy efficient than competing systems and take up less space(1)-- were the only servers to qualify for the rebate program. As part of PG&E’s Non Residential Retrofit program, customers replacing existing equipment with these eco-responsible servers can receive a cash savings between $700-$1000 per server or up to 35 percent when combined with the Sun Upgrade Advantage Program(2). This is the first-ever incentive rebate offered by a public utility company for servers.

Very nice and cool. I think its definitely a step in the right direction.

But why stop there? Right now, the focus is on servers. But there are also millions (billions?) of power-hungry desktops that are out there. How much power does an average desktop, without the monitor, consume? 200 watts? More? At Sun, our standard "desktop" hardware consumes as low as 4 watts. Yes, as low as four watts.

We used to call the Sun Ray an ultra-thin client to differentiate it from other thin client solutions. Other terms such as Display Over IP (DOIP) were also used to describe the technology but some of us sometimes replaced the meaning of D to Desktop so that DOIP would mean Desktop Over IP. Because that's what it really is -- our entire desktops are being delivered to us over the network. Then, just recently, "ultra-thin client" has been replaced with Virtual Display Client.

I'll be blogging more about this soon. In the meantime, you can look it up here.

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