Company offers power saving software for green data centres

A data centre startup is exiting stealth mode with technology that reduces power and cooling costs by analysing the energy consumption of IT equipment and applications.

Officials at Viridity Software argue that today's power monitoring products focus only on the physical infrastructure, giving insight into how power is delivered to the data centere but not insight into why it is being consumed.

Viridity's software maps the connections between applications and specific IT equipment, while also analysing the relative importance to the business of each application. Then it provides step-by-step recommendations to eliminate power and cooling inefficiencies, simulates the potential impact of new technology deployments and enables chargeback.

"They take an application-based view," says David Hill, an analyst with the Mesabi Group. "It's much more sophisticated and much more elegant [than current power monitoring products]. It's the way it should be done."

Analysis tools that look solely at the power usage of servers and other infrastructure aren't necessarily helpful in controlling energy use, because they don't analyse the amount of power the business needs to operate effectively, Hill says.

"If you just look at infrastructure you can't always understand what's happening, and know what energy each application is using," he says.

Viridity has eight customers so far and will make its software generally available at the end of March. The product is a software download combined with a hosted database, and prices can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands, depending on the size of deployment.

Before founding Viridity, CTO Michael Rowan says he was consulting for large companies struggling to provide power to IT equipment. One company bought millions of dollars worth of disk drives and attempted to install them when "someone said 'you can't plug them in because there's not enough power.'" That made Rowan realise how little information companies have about how power use relates to business processes.

"The first thing that was striking was all that equipment was bought, paid for, shipped and installed before someone said there was no power," he says.

Viridity's software will prevent such mishaps, the company believes."Viridity will provide customers with the ability to model power consumption through the IT layer, by tying applications to the specific IT equipment that supports them," a company press release states. "Not only will the connections be mapped, but the relative business criticality of each application will be analysed as well. The breadth and depth of this correlation is critical, as this is where virtually all of the data center's power demand is derived from."

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