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Startup Low Power Company is looking to make a name for itself as a provider of energy-efficient servers.
Low Power Company, or Lopoco, this month unveiled its first line of servers, one that is limited in range by design in order to cover a part of the market that traditionally has been underserved, said Andrew Sharp, CEO and co-founder of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company.
The state of server market technology made it possible to design more energy-efficient servers seven or eight years ago, Sharp said. However, legacy server vendors deal with customers that have a wide range of performance and efficiency requirements, opening the door for a company such as Lopoco to stake out a segment of the market focusing on efficiency, he said.
"The sweet spot of the market, or 60 [percent] to 70 percent of the market, doesn't need everything the other server vendors entice you with," he said.
Unfortunately, it's not certain the market is ready for a vendor focusing on power-efficient servers, said Keith Norbie, director of server, virtualization and storage for the Eastern U.S. for Technology Integration Group (TIG), a San Diego-based solution provider.
"Low power is important for servers," Norbie said. "But the main interest might be in the service provider space. If you want to enter the server business, you need to be unique. I'm not sure whether low power consumption by itself will be enough."
Norbie cited as examples two companies that have succeeded in the server business.
The first is Cisco and its UCS blade server solution. "Cisco cheated in getting a market for its servers because it had a well-known brand name," he said. "But Cisco did something different with its focus on virtualization."
The other is Nutanix, a startup combining server and storage technology into a single converged infrastructure. "Nutanix reinvented the server by converging it with storage," he said.
Sharp said that Lopoco differentiates itself from other server vendors by focusing only on energy-efficient servers.
The company offers a line of Intel Atom-based microservers, as well as Intel Xeon-based servers with four, eight and 12 cores. Lopoco does not offer AMD-based or ARM-based servers.
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