Will Energy Management Live in the Network?

A view of the Energy Wise managment software being developed by Cisco.
A view of the Energy Wise managment software being developed by Cisco.

As it unveiled more new networking products yesterday, Cisco Systems (CSCO) also announced that it is entering the energy management business. With its new Energy Wise software, Cisco will be able to measure the power use of phones, video surveillance cameras, computers, printers and even HVAC and building security systems – all of which can be managed through a single interface.

In other words, Cisco wants to own the “single pane of glass” you use to track and manage energy throughout your data center, your building and your company.

Cisco’s EnergyWise program will roll out in three phases, each of which extends its  reach :

  • The first phase, which launched yesterday, will see EnergyWise supported on Catalyst switches and manage energy consumption on IP devies including phones, video surveillance cameras and wireless access points (presumable all made by Cisco)
  • The second phase, which commences this summer, adds support for third-party devices including, PCs, laptops and printer.
  • The third phase, slated to begin in early 2010, extends EnergyWise support to non-IP budiling management assets including HVAC systems, elevators, lights, fire alarm systems and security systems.      

To support the phase three expansion into building management, Cisco has acquired Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence, which makes middleware technology to integrate building management infrastructure and IT applications over an IP architecture.

Among the companies partnering with Cisco on EnergyWise is Schneider Electric. “Today, through the monitoring and control of energy usage with energy efficiency products, Schneider Electric’s solutions deliver up to 30 percent energy savings to residential, commercial and industrial buildings,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of Schneider Electric. “Using the network as a platform through Cisco EnergyWise, we will be able to bring additional reductions in energy consumption, offering our customers an efficient, simple, and reliable infrastructure.”

For more information on EnergyWise and its impact, check out the excellent coverage from GreenTech Media, which looks at the potentially disruptive impact of Cisco’s entry into the energy management market, as well as a rundown of the potential energy savings in the various areas Cisco has targeted with EnergyWise. Cisco provides details on its EnergyWise web site, including a PDF product overview and Flash walk-through. Here’s a quick video overview:

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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