Wednesday, August 16, 2006

PG&E-Sun rebate: Open Letter to Jonathan Schwartz

This week I reported on the recent news about Sun Microsystems and PG&E. The California-based utility company is offering major rebates to customers that buy Sun's new T1000 and T2000 servers which were designed for energy efficiency. While this was a great strategy for promoting Sun servers, I'm not sure if it was much of a sucess for data center efficiency overall. I posted this letter to Jonathan's Blog this morning. UPDATE: Published on the blog, no comment as yet.

From Schwartz' blog: 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.

My letter:Hey Jonathan, I think Sun is doing a great job with its 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 weren’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.

1 Comments:

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