CHALLENGES: Finding an environmentally responsible provider to reliably and affordably manage infrastructure needs
RACKSPACE SOLUTION: Rackspace Green Server Configuration
BUSINESS OUTCOME: Added value to their service and customizable configurations
Since 1998, The Complete WebsiteTM has built effective websites, delivering sales leads and satisfied clients. The Complete Website uses best-of-the-web tools to deliver the finest solutions available at affordable prices. Now, by deploying Rackspace’s Green Server Configuration, The Complete Website also reduces energy consumption and can offer carbon-neutral website capabilities to clients looking for new ways to go green.
In June 2007, Rackspace hosted their first “Green Day” event, and announced its Greenspace Initiative, an environmental responsibility program aimed at conservation and education. They had four goals in mind: conserving as a company, educating employees about what they can do for the environment, offering green solutions to customers, and offsetting the rest.
The first two goals were accomplished rather quickly. First, Rackspace realized they already had a number of environmentally friendly programs in place, including internal recycling programs, using biodegradable products in the break rooms, encouraging employees to turn lights off to save energy, and using one of the only green-certified office cleaners in the San Antonio area. Most importantly, they also leveraged vendors to provide the most energy-efficient hardware for Rackspace’s data centers.
Next, when it came to educating employees, Rackspace hosted more than 20 local vendors at “Green Day” to inform Rackers about all the environmental organizations and programs offered around San Antonio. Employees had a chance to learn about windtricity and solar programs, hybrid and electric car dealers, and the city’s Parks and Recreation programs.
The next two goals came from realizing that data center emissions and power consumption have a significant environmental impact. Since Rackspace relies on third-party vendors for the bulk of its products like Dell and HP servers or Intel and AMD processors, they decided to highlight the environmentally friendly components Rackspace was already using. Rather than develop and offer a brand new product, they offered low-voltage servers and processors, plus energy-efficient drives and memory.
In January 2008, Rackspace rolled out the Green Server Configuration, offering clients a new way to go green. The program was an instant success. Page views and online sales chats quadrupled, which indicated customers were looking for environmentally conscious vendors and products. The program also offered carbon offsets, ensuring all new customers could run carbon-neutral websites through a new partnership with NativeEnergy.
Just as the Green Server Configuration was underway, Peter Ericson, president of The Complete Website, contacted Rackspace about moving his server. Ericson had been dealing with all aspects of running an online business over the past 10 years, including the hassle of finding the best way to manage the infrastructure.
“In my experience, I’ve done it all...in-house, collocation, shared, dedicated...and I’ve definitely had my ups and downs,” says Ericson. “Our company has seen significant growth in the past few years and I knew I needed a hosting provider that could easily scale with me. I knew Rackspace was a leader in the hosting industry and I was originally drawn to their 24/7 Fanatical Support.” But, what the Sales Rep told Ericson next intrigued him.
“I was asked if I had heard about Greenspace or Rackspace’s Green Server Configuration, and I said ‘no.’ He went on to explain that I could run a carbon-neutral server that produces less CO2 and conserves more energy than the basic configuration,” recalls Ericson.
The Complete Website has been building websites primarily for small business owners since 1998. Their JumpstartTM program encompasses all of the features necessary to grow and support an online business at a simple fixed price. Now every website Ericson creates is carbon neutral and his customers are glad to know the server is using less power.
“Rackspace is really thinking outside of the box on this,” says Ericson. “Instead of ‘reinventing the wheel’ here, they are taking products they offer anyone and packaging together the most energy-efficient. Simple. So, when a customer like me calls without a predetermined configuration in mind and the sales rep says ‘how about using all of the most energy-efficient products?’ The answer of course was yes, without having to sacrifice performance.”
Rackspace has always designed its data centers with power conservation in mind, and leverages energy- efficient hardware and equipment. The latest generations of both Intel and AMD low voltage processors are some examples of the products that allow customers to generate power savings when right-sizing their configuration.
The Green Server Configuration expands on this by customizing configurations with components like the Dell PowerEdge 2970; AMD’s “HE” or Intel’s “L” or “LV” designated processors; DDR2 SDRAM memory; and 7200 RPM or 10,000 RPM 3.5” drives or 10,000 RPM 2.5” small form factor drives, all aimed at reducing overall power usage.
The Complete Website server draws more than 30 percent less electricity than a typical dedicated server. Coupled with the ability to finance renewable energy wind and methane projects through NativeEnergy, the Green Server Configuration is the right solution for customers, like The Complete Website, that are looking to minimize their carbon footprint in the world.
But even Ericson admits it wasn’t just the environmental responsibility aspect that attracted him to using Rackspace’s Green Configuration.
“I must admit, at one point a ‘marketing’ light went off. When a prospect now calls me and asks why they should employ our services, after I give them my normal sales pitch, I now add in the point that they a carbon-neutral website and it’s like a light goes off in their head and they want to hear more. It’s an outstanding conversation piece and with the environment such a hot topic right now, everyone is looking for ways to be green. Through Rackspace, we can now offer something to our customers at no extra cost.”
Ericson continues, “I applaud Rackspace’s Greenspace Initiative. I believe they’ve taken the right first steps and are on the right track to paving the way for more ‘green-ness’ in their industry. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I will proudly display my ‘Powered By Greenspace’ logo and I’m excited to see what they do next.”
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