Cisco to Acquire Monitoring Firm Arch Rock

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An overview of a sample configuration for the Arch Rock Energy Optimizer for data centers.

Cisco Systems has announced plans to acquire privately-held Arch Rock Corporation, which makes wireless monitoring systems used in data centers. Cisco says Arch Rock’s technology will allow it to offer advanced monitoring systems for “smart grids” for the utility industry.

“Arch Rock’s wireless mesh technology enhances Cisco’s IP-based, end-to-end smart-grid offerings,” said Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Smart Grid business unit.  “This acquisition further positions Cisco as a strategic partner to utilities working to better manage power supply and demand, improve the security and reliability of energy delivery, and optimize operational costs.”

But the focus on utilities and smart grid applications appears to leave an uncertain future for Arch Rock’s products for data center monitoring, which aren’t mentioned in the release. Last year the company introduced a new version of its Energy Optimizer wireless monitoring system customized for data center monitoring. We followed up to inquire about Arch Rock’s data center offerings.

“Cisco will continue to support existing customers that use Arch Rock’s data center products, and will look to evaluate the fit of the other innovations beyond Smart Grid that Arch Rock brings to Cisco’s existing technology areas,” Cisco said in a statement.

Wireless Sensors for Data Center Monitoring
Arch Rock Energy Optimizer-Data Center Edition (AREO-DC) deploys wireless sensors to measure power, temperature and pressure conditions on power circuits, server racks, computer-room air conditioners (CRACs) or air handlers (CRAHs), chillers and underneath the raised floor. The data is transmitted via wireless sensor networks to a dashboard that provides energy usage data, thermal imaging of data center conditions, and information for green metrics including Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).

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 for cooling, which often consumes nearly as much power as IT equipment.

When the acquisition closes later this year, the Arch Rock team will become part of Cisco’s industry-leading Smart Grid business unit. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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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  1. As a provider of Cisco products and services this is great news for both our business and the clients we serve. We look forward to participating in Cisco's future growth and expansion.