Green Start-Up Will Drill Into Energy Efficiency and Performance


Viridity is developing software designed to give IT administrators high visibility into the utilisation and energy consumption of their IT equipment and applications

A new company coming out of stealth mode on 9 Nov. is looking to give enterprises a clearer view into their IT infrastructure and applications to enable them to create more energy-efficient environments and drive down power and cooling costs.

Viridity is developing a software product of the same name designed to trace energy consumption at the IT equipment and application layer and then analyse the findings. From those, reports are generated that are intended to give businesses ways to balance power, cooling and IT utilisation.

The software also is designed to do what industry experts say is key to creating energy-efficient data centers and driving down power costs: bridge the gulf between IT, facilities and C-level executives.

“All the consumption of power is happening at the IT [equipment] or application side,” Mike Rowan, Viridity founder and CTO, said in an interview. “But the way power is being addressed now doesn’t address that side.”

Currently, those three factions—IT management, facilities, and executives like the CIO and chief financial officer—all monitor and manage energy consumption in the data center with similar goals of improving efficiency and driving down costs, but do so separately and with little communication, Rowan said.

The Viridity product is being designed to get those three sides working more together. The software will collect data from the physical infrastructure layer, monitor IT power consumption, simulate the physical aspects of the data center, such as power and airflow, model logical aspects such as utilisation and performance, and analyse the data.

From there, the software will develop an action plan that can be used by IT, facilities and C-level executives that will outline steps that can be taken to create a more energy-efficient data centre and the impact those steps will have on power usage, cooling, performance and costs. It also enables companies to modify the plan, and calculates the impact of those modifications.

At present, rising power costs and shrinking IT budgets are forcing businesses to find ways to reduce costs, and they’re finding that often the cost of powering and cooling their IT equipment is greater than the cost of buying it. The lack of visibility into data centres also means that most facilities now are over-provisioned, and many new ones are built years ahead of need.

Viridity officials say their software will be able to reduce operational costs of data centers by as much as 40 percent and extend the life of data centres by several years.

Major tech players—including IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell—are rolling out their own green data center services, aiming to help businesses reduce energy consumption and cut costs.

“Every vendor on the planet has a green story,” Rowan said. “Some of them are really rock-solid, some are somewhat nefarious.”

Rowan said he sees a situation in which Viridity will be a good complementary tool for some other vendor tools, and a competitor to others.

Viridity Assess—the first product that will eventually make up Viridity’s Data Center Optimization Suite—is scheduled for general availability in the first quarter of 2010, followed by Viridity Control later in the year and Viridity Optimize after that.

In addition, Viridity also is announcing its beta and early adopter program, dubbed Greenhouse Program, which will give select users early access to the software and input into future features and functionality. Currently Viridity has eight customers, according to the company.

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