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NewEnergy Chops Its Blades

Energy consulting firm NewEnergy expects to shave almost a quarter of a million dollars off its IT budget -- in part by throwing away its blade servers and growing its storage network.

The urge to save heat and power in data centers in Houston and Atlanta motivated Neal Tisdale, NewEnergys vice president of software development, to start replacing 29 different Intel-based servers with three of Sun’s new AMD Opteron-based Galaxy servers. (See Sun Spawns Galaxy.) “Our overall saving for heat, power, and staff is going to be in the region of $225,000,” Tisdale says.

In Houston, a total of 23 servers from Dell and various third-party resellers are being replaced with just two Sun Fire X4200 servers. In Atlanta, the firm will replace six Dell blade servers with a single Sun Fire box.

Ironically, NewEnergy is enhancing its storage while shrinking its server infrastructure. Currently, the consultancy has an 18-Tbyte LeftHand Networks disk array, but this is set to expand. Tisdale plans to add about three more Tbytes of disk “before the end of the calendar year.”

Tisdale explains that virtualization is also playing a major part in NewEnergy’s drive to reduce heat and power, with the Galaxy servers as the key enabler. “They have the horsepower to emulate many servers at one time,” he says. This horsepower, adds the exec, is lacking in the blade servers.

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