Energy management will be a major issue for data center operators in 2009, and companies that can help measure energy use are attracting investor attention. Sentilla Corp. said yesterday that it has raised $7.5 million in Series B financing to expand its wireless sensor technology, which the company is marketing for use in data center monitoring.
Sentilla was founded in 2003 and known as Moteiv prior to a rebranding in 2007. The Series B funding was from ONSET Ventures and Claremont Creek Ventures, which previously provided $6 million Series A funding in 2006. The company says it will soon announce the signing of three data center providers as customers.
Sentilla's data center initiative represents a tightening of its focus on "pervasive computing," in which software provides intelligence for computers in small devices. The company uses remote sensors and Java-based software to track environmental conditions in facilities, and has adapted the technology to monitor cooling conditions in data centers.
Wireless monitoring is valuable in data centers because it allows company to retrofit existing data centers to detect "hot spots" where cooling may not be reaching servers. Fine-tuning cooling systems allows data centers to make more efficient use of the energy used by cooling systems, which often consume as much energy as IT equipment. Measuring data center energy use is expected to be a growth area in 2009, as companies seek to control energy costs and carbon emmissions.
Sentilla is playing catch-up to SynapSense of Folsom, Calif., whose wireless sensor systems are already in use at data centers operated by Yahoo and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. SynapSense received an Energy Innovator award from the U.S. Department of Energy for its wireless data center monitoring systems.