Green with power-consumption -- Linux needs less than Windows

Network World published a test today that declared Linux -- especially Red Hat's Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.1 -- was more

green than Windows Server 2008. RHEL drew less power on 13 of 16 test scenarios and came in with almost 10 percent savings in power over Windows Server 2008 in some of those cases. The story says:

Our tests point to Linux as the winner of the green flag by margins that topped out at 12%. But we must note that our results are full of stipulations imposed by our test bed, and as the more truthful car advertisements might warn -- your wattage may vary. We ran multiple power consumption tests using Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, Red Hat's Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.1 and SUSE Enterprise Linux 10 SP1 on four, popular 1U server machines, one each from Dell and IBM and two from HP. The results showed that while Windows Server 2008 drew slightly less power in a few test cases when it had its maximum power saving settings turned on, it was RHEL that did the best job of keeping the power draw in check across the board.

The test and its results are controversial, but interesting. Linux did come in a clear winner in the apples-to-apples test settings, but that doesn't mean it is a better, more green solution than Windows Server 2008 for your particular applications. At least as interesting was how different hardware servers faired. Some are amazing power hogs -- no doubt because high-performance takes wattage.

How important is green computing to you and would it influence your choice of operating system?

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