Power companies are lining up to offer rebates for customers that use virtualization to cut data center power consumption, says VMware president Diane Greene.
Greene, speaking at the UBS Enterprise Technology Forum in New York, said that the Pacific Gas and Electric Company rebate program announced in November was just a start. Virtualization allows you to run multiple applications on a server and can save energy.
"When you consolidate 10 servers onto 1 you use less power. PG&E recognized it and customers can get rebates for virtualizing servers," says Greene. "Several other power companies are looking to do the same."
Under PG&E's program customers in northern and central California must apply for rebates before pursuing a virtualization project. The incentives are based on the amount of energy savings achieved through data center consolidation. Rebates are capped at $4 million per project site.
According to PG&E customers can expect to save $300 to $600 in annual energy costs for each server that is removed.
Aside from the obvious return on investment with virtualization software, Greene indicated that power is becoming one of VMware's larger selling points. She says that VMware's lab is testing ways to move load and consolidate server workloads so they can shut down at night. These servers would then automatically start up again when needed. Under this scenario, you may use 100 servers during business hours and consolidate them down to 50 at night when you need less computing power.
Another front for VMware is desktop virtualization, says Greene. Companies are interested in virtualized desktops, but it's unclear how quickly the market will develop. "There is a lot of interest in desktops, but it is very early," says Greene, adding that things could accelerate quickly given one deployment usually covers thousands of desktops.