Cisco targets enterprise energy management

Cisco hopes to leverage its role at the heart of enterprise networks to be a prime supplier of energy management tools.


The gear-maker unveiled the first stage of its EnergyWise technology in Barcelona on Tuesday.


But it says it wants to help business cut energy consumption in phones, laptops and buildings as well as switches and routers.


To do so Cisco has acquired Richards-Zeta, a specialist in software that integrates building management apps with IP networks. It has also announced three partners - Schneider Electric, Solar Winds and Verdiem.


Cisco says EnergyWise will help change the IT value chain "by placing the intelligent network squarely at the center of how companies reduce greenhouse gas emissions."


"It will help our customers meet their green goals," said Cisco CEO John Chambers.


EnergyWise provides real-time measurements that give "visibility into energy savings across an entire organization as well as specific places in the network such as the campus, branch office and data center," Cisco said.


In its current phase, EnergyWise will be installed in Catalyst Ethernet switches to manage the energy consumption of IP devices such as phones, surveillance cameras and wireless access points.


The next phase, beginning in mid-2009, will be directed at the energy footprint of PC, laptops and printers.  Early next year that will be extended to building systems such as heating, air conditioning, elevators, lights, and fire alarms, Cisco said.


Cisco said it had teamed up with Schneider Electric to manage building power usage, SolarWinds for network monitoring, and Verdiem for PC power monitoring.


Schneider CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire said the company could already help building managers cut energy consumption by up to 30%. EnergyWise meant it could offer further reductions through an "efficient, simple, and reliable infrastructure."