Sun, Power Company to Offer Rebates on Servers

Sun Microsystems and a major California power supplier, Pacific Gas & Electric, Aug. 15 announced an unusual joint incentive program that will give $700 to $1,000 per-unit rebates to Sun server customers for deploying newer machines that consume less electrical power.

The Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 CoolThread servers—which Sun claims are three to five times more energy-efficient than competing systems—were the only servers to qualify for the rebate program, a Sun spokesperson said.

As part of PG&E’s new Non-Residential Retrofit program, customers replacing existing equipment with these eco-responsible servers can receive cash savings of between $700 to $1000 per server or up to 35 percent off with the Sun Upgrade Advantage Program.

The base version of each server costs about $4,000.

This is the first-ever incentive rebate offered by a public utility company for servers, David Douglas, Sun vice president for eco-responsibility, told eWEEK.

“The numbers I’ve seen from Gartner [Group] tell us that more than two-thirds of all businesses are either at their limits in terms of cooling ability and/or power consumption,” Douglas said.

“We did a study of three PG&E customers who are now using Sun’s T1000 and T2000 servers, and they all have been amazed at what power savings they actually have recorded in the data center.”

Satisfied customer reports big savings

Joyent Inc. of Marin County, California—which offers Web-based software that provides small teams with e-mail, calendars, contacts and shared applications—was one of the test subjects.

“We had a third-party team come in and evaluate all of our electrical usage at our co-location space,” Joyent CEO David Young told eWEEK.

“Everything from servers to air conditioning to lighting was charted. We just started using the T1000 and T2000 Sun servers last April; when they broke out the power usage figures for the first four we installed, we found that we got a one-time $1,200 rebate for each server, based on its power consumption—or lack of it,” Young said.

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