The data center energy problem is also being tackled by the likes of JouleX. With ISS co-founder Tom Noonan as its CEO, JouleX launched out of stealth mode at this year's Interop Las Vegas conference, with software that simplifies IT energy management by automatically discovering all network-connected devices -- from servers to HVAC and lighting systems -- and identifying opportunities for power savings.
JouleX makes it easier to monitor energy use because it doesn't require agents to be installed on every monitored device.
"There's not a business we're familiar with that is asking 'can we have another agent to install on our PCs and servers,'" says JouleX vice president of sales and marketing Tim McCormick.
Customers such as Siemens, Equifax and BMW have hopped on board the JouleX bandwagon, and why not? Noonan and partners sold ISS to IBM for $1.3 billion in 2006, and Noonan believes energy is one of the few IT issues that can rival security in its importance and scope.
But controlling energy use is far from the only major problem facing IT as it moves toward networks that are heavily virtualized and reliant on cloud-based services. Security -- no surprise -- is still top of mind, with IT pros surveyed by Forrester calling it the biggest concern preventing them from adopting software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Most startups will tell you security is baked into their product, no matter what part of the tech industry they're in, but a few of Network World's New IT Company to Watch are tackling cloud security more directly.
CloudFlare has built a content delivery network that acts as a cloud-based firewall, as well as a network traffic accelerator, blocking threats and limiting bots and crawlers to improve security and decrease stress on bandwidth and server resources.
CloudFlare wants to expand the market for CDN services by "bringing the performance and security tools previously available only to the Internet giants to anyone with a Web site," and has gained great interest since the launch of its public beta a month ago.
The CloudFlare network was on pace to serve 350 million page views and 25 million unique visitors in October, CEO Matthew Prince says. Despite its current focus on small Web site operators, CloudFlare is in discussions with enterprise users and plans to launch an enterprise-focused service in Q4 2011.
Another security-minded startup is Truedomain, whose cloud-based e-mail authentication service is designed to block phishing e-mails, protecting legitimate domain names from being used for fraud. Truedomain relies on industry standards like DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail), and SPF (Sender Policy Framework), and provides reporting and analytics tools "to give e-mail senders direct insight into e-mail authentication results, phishing and spoofing activity and delivery performance."