Comparing (green) apples-to-apples

Greg Galitzine : Green Blog
Greg Galitzine
| Helping environmentally-conscientious business leaders choose environmentally-friendly solutions.

Comparing (green) apples-to-apples

It would be very helpful for technology buyers interested in buying green and in doing so saving money if there could be a series of objectively researched-and-well publicized energy/environmental footprint data and costs for these solutions. If such documentation exists please forward that to me.

Yes, it is true, that the suppliers are providing case histories showing such data. A case in point is Netezza, which makes data warehousing appliances. The firm demonstrated that its product at 3 terabytes (TB) enabled a customer, the UK's Orange, to cut power demand by 2/3rds, from 25kW/hour to 7kW/hour and sliced cooling requirements by 72 percent compared with and from the incumbent Informix/Sun/EMC 1.5 TB configuration. Quite impressive numbers: they sure impressed Orange.

Here's the rub: this is not apples-to-apples. This is new solution versus older one and new ones tend to be more efficient, especially in applications like data warehousing whose components do wear out from heat and mechanical operations (at least until the solid state systems now being developed hit prime time). Also needs and specs change over time.

What would have been very helpful is a side-by-side evaluation of all candidate replacement systems e.g. IBM, Oracle as well as Netezza. While in fairness that would have likely not been possible for a PR case study: the customer would probably not want to release such information. Nonetheless, such data would make the performance of solutions like Netezza's even more outstanding, and likely to lead to more purchases. And it is more efficient products like theirs that can help save our planet.


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