SynapSense Corporation has secured $5 million in funding from an investor group including GE Energy Financial Services and the company's existing investors, which include Emerald Technology Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, American River Ventures, Nth Power and DFJ Frontier.
The funds will help SynapSense develop and market its wireless data center monitoring and management tools. Additional financial details of the investment were not disclosed. SynapSense previously raised $10 million in 2007 and $7 million in 2009.
GE and SynapSense also announced a partnership in which they will integrate their management tools and market the merits of the combined offering to their respective customers. SynapSense’s technology will be coimbined with GE Intelligent Platform’s Proficy Software and Control platform to enable data center operators to optimize energy use by continuously aligning cooling capacity with changes in IT load.
Growing Interest in Automated Tools
SynapSense CEO Peter Van Deventer said the GE investment and partnership come amid growing interest in the potential savings from improved automation of data center cooling.
"Most data center operators are starting to optimize their existing footprint instead of building new data centers," said Van Deventer. "We're working with major accounts to drive energy savings in their facilities. Most of them are running out of power."
Equipment monitoring is of critical importance as companies optimize their data centers to be more energy-efficient. Data collection is essential to measuring progress and return on investment (ROI) in data center consolidations and virtualization projects, while temperature data from throughout the facility is a key tool in optimizing a data center’s cooling. The lack of instrumentation has been cited as making it difficult to calculate potential ROI on different approaches in data centers.
Sensors Help Manage Air Handlers
Vandeventer cited the importance of automated management technologies like SynapSense's Adaptive Control offering, which can dynamically adjust the temperature set points and fan speed in computer room air handlers (CRAHs) based on sensor readings of server inlet temperatures and sub-floor air pressures.
"We think we are at the early stages of this trend," he said.
"The addition of SynapSense’s capabilities to our Proficy solution will enable GE to drive broader continuous improvement, with insight from the environmental metrics of the data center’s raised floor as well as detailed information about the critical power and mechanical infrastructure,” said Steve Doublett, Leader Datacenter Strategy, GE Corporate Global Infrastructure Services. “The solution provides tools and dashboards for a view of overall performance, trends and operational statistics that allow us to reduce cost and improve performance.”