Jolly Green Linux

Linux and open source fans are often a feel-good bunch, generally aiming for the betterment of the community. So it’s not so surprising to find a green contingent among them, at least when it comes to the energy saving, power management side of Linux. The Green Linux Workgroup focuses on projects like enabling the processor to sleep between tasks, developing ‘power-aware applications,’ and improving hibernation reliability.

For companies with power-hungry data centers, Linux-love is more about helping them save money. At the Linux World Conference in San Francisco this week, there was a big focus on how Linux is helping companies like IBM, Novell, and HP “go green” and save on energy costs:

  • IBM launched its ‘Big Green Linux Initiative’ at the show, which uses Linux to help cut down on power consumption in data centers. Last week IBM said it is consolidating about 3,900 of its own servers onto roughly 30 mainframes running the Linux — IBM thinks this will deliver 80 percent less energy than the current set up.
  • Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian says in this video, “if Linux could capture 10% of the desktop market and then had a 20% battery improvement on our laptops, that would equate to over 500 million hours of more productivity and savings.” I’m not sure where he gets those numbers, but he seems excited about saving money.
  • HP told conference goers that the next-generation energy-efficient data center depends on Linux and open source. The PC World articles says HP’s Ann Livermore, executive vice president of the Technology Solutions Group, applauded new functionality added to the Linux kernel “that puts Linux systems into low-power states when there’s a pause in computing.”
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