The Value of Being Green

I was at Craigslist recently, and heard they were being kicked out of a hosting facility for being widly popular – in order to serve a massively expanding user base, their growing infrastructure was requiring more electricity than the facility could supply. If you live in California, you know that energy efficiency isn’t just a fad – it’s a means of driving competitive advantage and flexibility. And keeping costs in line. Just as surges, or poor planning, can leave businesses exposed strategically and financially.

The state also takes energy efficiency seriously – if you drive a hybrid or high efficiency car, you can use the carpool lane on highways. If you put solar panels on your rooftop, you can qualify for rebates. This isn’t about political correctness, it’s about working within constraints, driving sustainable development and lessening environmental footprints. It’s not politically correct, it’s economically correct.

So I was particularly pleased to see us announce that PG&E will give rebates to California businesses for jettisoning our competitors products, and replacing them with more efficient Niagara machines, our
UltraSPARC T1000 or T2000 servers. We are the first company to have met the requirements that prove the outstanding efficiency of our datacenter infrastructure. Moving off our competition and onto Sun saves money, power, space, and lessens the impact the IT industry has on the environment. And now it’s not just us saying that, it’s the Pacific Gas and Electric company, the state’s largest power utility.

If you ever get asked by a cynic, or your management “what’s the real value of being green?,” I can give you a very specific answer, at least for Sun. In the State of California, it’s worth $700 to $1000 per server. I did say per server. Every single bid we’re in across the state just got $700 to $1,000 per server more competitive.

With ASP’s under $5,000 for a Niagara machine, that’s not a little competitive push.

That’s real power.


Filed under General

16 responses to “The Value of Being Green

  1. Zach

    Awesome. Just awesome.

  2. Blaise

    Blogging is one thing, but giving away the ASP of your most recent product, how can this not hurt your business?

  3. Hello Jonathan,
    Thats very interesting indeed that you could save a cool $700-$1000 per server. But what is the real value of a “green revolution” in say an Internet Software company, where i am a Project Manager. How would I convince my management to go “green” – in other words, how would “green” really bring in “green” ($) bills into the company 🙂
    — Thyaga

  4. I have believed that the environment and the economy need not be at odds. A sustainable economy requires a sustained environment. A farmer must be able to plant and harvest each year. I’m gald this idea is finally making it to the technology sector. Good luck!

  5. Jonathan,
    Coincidentally, I just wrote up a Niagara review this morning (based on your earlier offer to let us keep the hardware if we did so). We’re hosted in California datacenters – but unfortunately, we’re not seeing anywhere near $1000 per server in cost savings.
    Did we do something wrong in our review?

  6. hi jon,
    Good Move.
    now that you’ve announced a tentative roadmap for opensourcing java, it will be nice to know what plans you have for developers to deploy java applications say, on your Niagara Boxes.

  7. [Trackback] On June 16th, Jonathan posted a blog entry where he announced that Ubuntu Linux ran on Niagara, and that anyone who writes a thorough review would get to keep the box in question. Fantastic idea – I get to run Linux, which I know like the back of my ha…

  8. Aaron Curtis

    hmm, not quite as green (or competitively priced) as some other similar performing servers, according to the smugmug review.

  9. I actually find this quite perplexing. Isn’t the energy efficiency its own rebate? If your equipment is so efficient, wouldn’t progressive energy rates have the same effect? Since higher performance is also a form of energy efficiency, why wouldn’t I want to buy a machine that consumed twice the power but finished the job in one tenth the time?

  10. [Trackback] P-P-P-Penguins! It’s IT Blogwatch, in which the Linuxistas jostle for attention at LinuxWorld. Not to mention the magic hate ball…

  11. Anantha

    This is in response to Mr. Baker’s post on CoolThreads being incentive enough by itself. Exercise is good for you but we don’t all do it, do we? CoolThreads are good for you but not all will buy it for it’s energy conservation alone even after knowing it’s good for you. It is in PG&E interest to motivate/incent you to replace the toasmasters masquerading as computers of today with CoolThreads. No different than you getting EnergyStar rebates from the government when you buy a certified fridge. That’s why.

  12. Mayuresh Kathe

    Interesting news about Niagara.
    Here’s some distressing news about Sun in India.
    I’ve been trying to “purchase” a copy of Solaris in Bombay, India and all I get to hear from Sun vendors is “go and get it downloaded”, when pestered further they told me to purchase it online.
    Purchasing online is OK with me, but the cost of shipping turns out to be more than the cost of the product.
    Isn’t there anything that can be done?
    I’m not asking for a free copy, all I want is to “purchase” a copy of the latest Solaris without paying a heavy premium for shipping it.

  13. Hey Jonathan, I think Sun is doing a great job with it’s green computing strategy. You guys literally dominate the conversation on this issue. SWAP was a great idea; hosting the EPA event, even better. But I was a little disappointed in how the PG&E deal played out.
    First, the way this news was laid out made it sound like these new Niagara machines were selected from a bunch of competing systems. But they were’t really. PG&E didn’t offer this rebate to any other vendor.
    Second, no one knew about this. Not the other vendors, not the EPA people. I know because I called them.
    Now this might not sound like a big deal, but Sun, its competitors, the EPA and others are supposed to be working together to form server efficiency standards. In fact, David Douglas, your VP of eco-responsibility said those standards are going to be what allows rebate programs to take off in other parts of the country. I think this move might breach the trust you had gained and hurt the standards process.
    I think the PG&E deal was a brilliant move. I just didn’t like the execution.

  14. This is in response to Mr. Don MacAskill’s comments. Don — We have read your review and appreciate your efforts. Thanks for your open invitation — we’d definitely like to work with you on both Linux and Solaris for the Sun Fire T1000 server. We’d be in touch shortly, and are hopeful about a much better experience/result for you.

  15. Sun is doing a good job with the strategy, but how long will it take before the “green market” becomes mainstream?

  16. dilly

    Any plans to push this out beyond California?

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