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4/24/2006
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Tech Vendors Go Eco-Friendly

New organization will develop metrics to measure performance and power consumption in data centers

Green's the new black, and tech vendors--just like fashion designers--are trying to cash in on the latest trend. That means developing chips and computers that use less power and are more eco-friendly.

Cutting power consumption in data centers is becoming more important as companies deploy hundreds or thousands of servers and discover they're spending more on electricity to power and cool the systems than they did on the hardware. Joining the party are tech vendors such as Advanced Micro Devices, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems, which last week created an organization called the Green Grid, which will work with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Alliance to Save Energy to develop metrics and standards for measuring performance and power consumption of data center equipment.

The struggling Sun hopes that developing green machines will provide a competitive advantage. Its public relations firm explored that possibility with a fake Earth Day ad that compared Sun's environmentally friendly approach to computing with that of IBM, which is portrayed as a despoiler of nature.

The ad makes one thing clear: Though they're cooperating on the Green Grid, tech vendors aren't going to cut back on competition.

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