I had a conversation late yesterday with one of the IBMers on the software side of IBM's System z team.  We were talking about upcoming efforts to promote Domino on System z running Linux.  

On the record, I'll admit that over the years, I've been somewhat ambivalent about the various different server platforms that Domino runs on.  It's a huge part of why Domino is successful -- giving customers choice and flexibility -- but I've never wanted to play the "which server is better" game.  Most of you choose a Domino server operating system based on existing organizational standards, experience, expertise, or price/performance.  Some of the platforms have been successful with specific market messages around why they are best for Domino, but as the software piece of the story, I've largely stayed above the fray.

Yesterday's conversation gave me an angle to think about that hadn't crossed my mind before -- System z, specifically the latest z10 enterprise class platform, is a huge part of IBM's "big green" computing initiatives.  Spin up a bunch of Domino server partitions running on a single zLinux box, and that single server will use a whole lot less energy than other approaches.  In fact, energy efficiency is one of the key messages of the new z10 box.  Now it all starts to make sense -- thousands of units less power consumed starts translating into tangible benefits in terms of lower energy costs and a better computing footprint.

Now, there's a natural angle to tell this story to existing Domino customers.  In fact, IBM is moving much of our own internal Domino deployment to zLinux during 2008, precisely because of the green impact of doing so.  But yesterday's brainstorm was about using this as a new way to attract potential migrations from Exchange and other environments.  A customer who I've worked with recently sees a key reason for choosing Domino over Exchange as being about the number of servers required to run the environment -- way way way less for Domino, especially when you factor in things like directory catalog servers and all the other roles needed in an Exchange 2007 environment.  Perhaps those customers who are still back-level on Exchange 2003 or even 2000 would consider the overall overhead -- hardware, system management, upgrades, and energy -- of the continued "scale out" nature of Microsoft architectures, and think about alternatives that make more sense.

I guess it really is easy being green.

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