Thin Clients to Reduce Power

Tom Sullivan of InfoWorld writes:

Through the typical barrage of vendor meetings I had this week one surprising thread emerged: IT is increasingly looking for ways to reduce expenses by using less power.

I know, I know. It sounds rather obvious. Trite, even. All companies, the well-run ones at least, try to spend as little on power as they can possibly get away with. It only makes sense.

A lot of the attention that gets paid to power savings, however, relates to the datacenter and to lower-voltage processors, particularly for notebook computers. Reducing power expenses has certainly been an issue within the datacenter, but when it comes to notebooks the benefits of using less power, more often that not, relate not to electricity bills but instead to size, performance and battery life.

This week I met with secure remote access provider Tarantella and the thin client folks at Sun.

Frank Wilde said that in his discussions with customers since taking the CEO post at Tarantella about a year ago he has heard myriad CIOs say one of their biggest problems was managing power, space, lighting, heating and air-conditioning.

These problems are not typically associated with the bits and bytes of IT, though IT may consume more of those resources than any other business unit, depending on the type of company.

Unknowingly backing up Wilde’s remarks, Mason Uyeda, the product line manager of Sun Ray clients, said that Sun Rays use an average of 13 watts, whereas a typical desktop PC consumes a “barebones minimum of 80 watts.”

Those wattage numbers are estimates, not exact figures, based on several variables, such as which optional components are run with the system.

What got my attention, though, was that Uyeda said Sun has customers who buy Sun Ray machines primarily to reduce spending on power.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.