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Schneider Electric Buys Viridity To Increase Power Management Offerings

With Viridity, Schneider Electric is the latest UPS hardware maker to add power management to its product portfolio

Schneider Electric is acquiring Viridity’s EnergyCenter 2.0 platform, aiming to provide data centre managers complete visibility over IT and facility operations, especially when it comes to power management and green technology.

Schneider Electric’s strategic investment in EnergyCenter 2.0 will enhance the company’s existing data centre management suite, StruxureWare, by adding functionality to track energy use more closely and manage resource efficiencies for IT components including routers, servers and switches.

Energy management

Viridity’s software is designed to track server utilisation, gather data and monitor IT assets for all mission-critical physical systems of the data centre, according to Schneider Electric.

Although some of those capabilities already exist in Schneider’s StruxureWare suite, the EnergyCenter 2.0 platform will add the ability to proactively manage energy use and increase efficiency.

“We are very pleased to welcome the Viridity team and their award-winning Energy Center 2.0 platform and look forward to incorporating this solution into Schneider Electric’s line of software solutions,” Schneider’s CTO of IT Business Jim Simonelli wrote in a statement. “Our entrepreneurial cultures are extremely complementary and we expect immediate synergies in the development of Schneider Electric’s next generation DCIM software.”

The acquisition of EnergyCenter 2.0 follows a deepening strategy by French-based Schneider Electric to fill out its product suite for data centre infrastructure management (DCIM). Earlier this year, the company acquired Lee Technologies, a North American service provider for data centres, and unveiled a modular power and cooling architecture for data centres.

Power plays

Schneider Electric is not the only manufacturer to dive into power monitoring and management.

Eaton Systems is evolving its hardware and software technology to create a single pane of glass view of power usage at the UPS (uninterruptible power supply)  outlet level, while Emerson Network Power has been expanding its portfolio of power management and DCIM products.

David Cappuccio, an analyst at Gartner, noted in a recent report, “Forward-thinking companies have realised that to run data centres efficiently, and to extend their lives indefinitely, it is not logical to treat data centre facilities and IT assets separately, because without one the other can’t operate. When enterprises start to focus on all the components that make up the ecosystem, they will begin to make informed long-range decisions.”

Apparently, DCIM and power management are starting to become growth-oriented technologies and the market is bound to heat up further as manufacturers extend their management reach deeper into the data centre and enterprise operations. According to Forrester Research, DCIM is expected to grow to 60 percent by 2014, versus only one percent growth in 2010.

There are several trends driving the adoption of DCIM, including increased power and heat density, data centre consolidation, virtualisation and cloud computing, increased reliance on critical IT systems and green IT initiatives.