Wikibon Pushes Power Debate

Could 'Conserve IT' be the shape of things to come?

August 4, 2008

2 Min Read
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Industry group Wikibons "Conserve IT" initiative, has finally got storage vendors and energy companies on the same eco-friendly page.

Last year, for example, Copan Systems and California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) launched a partnership whereby PG&E customers using the storage vendor’s MAID gear were eligible for rebates. While a step in the right direction, the deal hardly seemed to open the flood-gates for similar partnerships. Until, perhaps, today.

“We launched Conserve IT as a way to accelerate the qualification of vendor technologies within these types of rebate programs,” says David Vellante, Wikibon’s co-founder and principal contributor, noting that the industry "had very few technologies qualified, and we set out to increase that.”

Conserve IT, which will extend PG&E’s rebates to power-saving

technologies from the likes of EMC, HDS, and DataDirect, certainly raises the green storage stakes, subjecting vendors’ eco-friendly claims to a much deeper level of scrutiny.

Wikibon’s role will be to evaluate technologies such as MAID, virtualization, and de-duplication, independently validating vendors’ energy saving claims.It also makes sense to target Conserve IT, at least initially, at power-hungry California, which has had its share of energy problems and blackouts during recent years. PG&E also has experience with rebate programs in other industries, according to Vellante.

“In California, companies like PG&E are required to demonstrate these energy reductions,” he explains. “They have had this in other industries for many years, like manufacturing and agriculture, and they are now taking it to IT.”

PG&E is also attempting to share its energy rebate message with other utilities across the U.S., as is Wikibon, although the real proof of these initiatives will be end-user adoption.

Copan, for example, is yet to respond to Byte and Switch’s recent request concerning customer takeup of its PG&E energy rebate program. 3PAR, which clinched a similar deal with the utility last week, at least has one publicly announced customer, California State University East Bay.

Whatever way you look at it, the worlds of storage and utilities are still in the early stages of their courtship, although Conserve IT may just turn this into a much more meaningful relationship.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Copan Systems Inc.

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

  • 3PAR Inc.

  • Wikibon0

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