Sun Intros Eco-Consulting for Partners

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The new program is designed to offer Sun channel partners higher margins while helping end customers reduce their energy consumption. 

Looking to improve partner margins while providing end customers with opportunities to save power, Sun Microsystems is launching a new "Eco" partner program.

The program, a component under the umbrella of Sun's existing Advantage partner program, provides Sun partners with tools, resources and training to build Eco IT practices through assessments and implementations, thereby increasing their margins while helping their customers trim their power bills by as much as 80 percent.

The program includes training and education for partners, assessment services to evaluate data center energy use provided by the partner to the end customer, "Eco-modeling," and ROI tools to help partners model savings scenarios and implementation methodologies for putting the energy savings proposals into practice.

"There is a whole sales methodology process we offer to partners as well," said Bill Cate, Sun's channel chief. Partners can offer the services as packaged from Sun and sell them, or they can package them as part of their own services and sell them as part of a larger set of services, Cate said.

Click here to read what Bill Cate has to say about Sun's overall channel strategy.

Training will cover data center power, cooling, space and environmental issues.  In addition, more specialized training will be available on delivering consolidation and virtualization services to reduce customers' operational costs, improve service quality and reduce overall carbon footprint, Sun said. The training is free to partners, and Cate said the costs in terms of time lost to employee training would average about $40,000, which could be recovered in about two contracts.

According to EPA estimates, 61 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are used in U.S. data centers each year, representing about 1.5 percent of the total U.S. power consumption and $4.5 billion in energy costs, said Dermot Duggan, Sun's director of Sun Eco Innovations Solutions. It's the equivalent of what it would take to power 5.8 million U.S. households.

"Every time you go around the supermarket checking e-mail on your iPhone, a tiny bit of power is consumed at a data center somewhere," Duggan said.

Sun has piloted the program in end-customer sites and has found an average of 60 percent power savings through it, Duggan said, and as much as 80 percent power savings.

Other facts from Sun's existing implementations: Customers realized an average 450 percent increase in computing power using half the servers they did before, and they realized a 240 percent increase in storage capacity on a third of the storage devices as they previously had installed, Duggan said.

Big power hogs in the data center include chillers, humidifiers and UPSes. The chiller typically uses about 33 percent of the power, and the UPS uses around 18 percent, Duggan said.  The IT equipment uses about 30 percent.  Fifty percent of the energy is wasted, Duggan said.

Sun said the program is designed for Sun partners that have SPARC-based server customers, data center integration expertise and consulting capabilities.  But any Sun customer is welcome to participate.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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