Startup Lopoco Aims To Build Business Around Energy-Efficient Servers

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Power consumption is further reduced by using 2.5-inch hard drives instead of 3.5-inch models, and by not using 10,000-rpm or faster drives, Sharp said.

"We get customers to realize that 55 percent of all servers sold today are way overprovisioned," he said. "We let customers choose the number of cores they need, the amount of memory, and the amount of disk. Because of this, we can build very, very efficient servers, and that's what we do."

Lopoco today has only 10 to 12 customers, all of which are managed directly by the company. The company, however, is interested in building an indirect channel, according to Sharp. "It makes sense for a small startup like us," he said.

Lopoco is targeting very early stage startup customers that have not yet built a legacy data center. "These customers find they can stretch their startup money further with us than with conventional servers," Sharp said.

Other target markets include customers feeling the pinch of power costs in their existing data centers, as well as those concerned about wasting natural resources, he said.

Sharp acknowledged that there is competition for power-efficient servers from the cloud. "However, the cloud is still more expensive than having your own servers," he said. "And it's harder for smaller companies to get the skilled people needed to go to the cloud."

Sharp acknowledged that established server vendors also are investing in energy-efficient server technology, but that Lopoco's focus on energy-efficient servers is an easy message for potential customers compared with competitors that sell a huge variety of servers.

"Our products are meant to be disruptive to the industry," he said. "The competitors' products are disruptive to the customer."


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