Startup offers energy saving software for the datacenter

Viridity Software's offering analyzes which parts of the datacenter are using power and why, and it recommends power-saving steps

A datacenter startup is exiting stealth mode with technology that reduces power and cooling costs by analyzing the energy consumption of IT equipment and applications.

Officials at Viridity Software -- the name means "greenness" -- argue that today's power monitoring products focus only on the physical infrastructure, giving insight into how power is delivered to the data center but not insight into why it is being consumed.

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What does a real green data center look like?

Viridity's software maps the connections between applications and specific IT equipment, while also analyzing the relative importance to the business of each application. Then it provides step-by-step recommendations to eliminate power and cooling inefficiencies, simulates the potential impact of new technology deployments and enables chargeback.

"They take an application-based view," says David Hill, an analyst with the Mesabi Group. "It's much more sophisticated and much more elegant [than current power monitoring products]. It's the way it should be done."

Analysis tools that look solely at the power usage of servers and other infrastructure aren't necessarily helpful in controlling energy use, because they don't analyze the amount of power the business needs to operate effectively, Hill says.

"If you just look at infrastructure you can't always understand what's happening, and know what energy each application is using," he says.

Viridity was founded in 2007 and has financing of more than $7 million from Battery Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners. The company was founded by CTO Michael Rowan, who founded continuous data protection vendor Revivio, which was acquired by Symantec three years ago; and vice president of engineering Chris Rocca, also a veteran of Revivio. Viridity is still searching for a CEO. For now, board chairman Dave Lemont is serving as interim CEO.

Viridity has eight customers so far and will make its software generally available at the end of March. The product is a software download combined with a hosted database, and prices can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands, depending on the size of deployment.

Before founding Viridity, Rowan says he was consulting for large companies struggling to provide power to IT equipment. One company bought millions of dollars worth of disk drives and attempted to install them when "someone said 'you can't plug them in because there's not enough power.'" That made Rowan realize how little information companies have about how power use relates to business processes.

"The first thing that was striking was all that equipment was bought, paid for, shipped, and installed before someone said there was no power," he says.

Viridity's software will prevent such mishaps, the company believes." Viridity will provide customers with the ability to model power consumption through the IT layer, by tying applications to the specific IT equipment that supports them," a company press release states. "Not only will the connections be mapped, but the relative business criticality of each application will be analyzed as well. The breadth and depth of this correlation is critical, as this is where virtually all of the datacenter's power demand is derived from."

This story, "Startup offers energy saving software for the datacenter" was originally published by Network World.