Sun Microsystems Inc is crowing this week because one of its early customers for the “Galaxy” Sun Fire X4200 servers is a company called NewEnergy Associates, which is replacing 22 X86-based PowerEdge servers from Dell Inc with two two-socket, four core Opteron boxes. NewEnergy, which is a Houston-based company that specializes in energy IT and trading systems and related consulting services and which is a subsidiary of Siemens Power Generation unit.
So you would expect NewEnergy to be somewhat conscious about the power and cooling issues of its own IT systems. To that end, it has consolidated down its 22 Dell boxes in its Houston data center to two X4200s with a total of eight processor cores; the company is piloting a project to replace another right uniprocessor, single-core servers in its Atlanta data center with a single X4200 with four cores. That Atlanta data center has a total of 60 servers, so the Galaxy pilot could cause the ouster of a total of 82 servers at the company. NewEnergy reckons it is cutting power requirements and heat output in the Houston data center by 84 percent.
While the size of this deal is not large in terms of the server count for Sun or the revenue stream, the argument is compelling and that is why Sun has done what it has, engineering-wise, with the Galaxies. A few hundred thousand deals per year like this, and Sun has a real X86 business that puts it in the Tier One category.