“As we grow old, the beauty steals inward,” or so Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote. I doubt he was talking about big data. But as it matures, can big data be used to provide the same insights inside the data center that it can provide for end customers, saving money and promoting sustainability?
Energy management systems startup Vigilent is betting that the answer is “yes,” and this week had a $6.7 million round of funding led by Accel Partners and its new big data fund, which gives it some street cred in the space.
In short, Vigilent’s business model hinges on applying big data analytics to data center efficiency. Hundreds of thousands of wireless centered are deployed in a single facility, and Vigilent’s platform intelligently reallocates cooling and air handling resources based on the data it collects. The goal is to keep the entire data center constant at a customer-specified temperature 24/7, no matter how usage or other conditions change.
“Vigilent has demonstrated a unique ability to harness data center energy use while providing actionable, non-intuitive operational energy management insights through Big Data analytics,” said Accel Partners’ Rich Wong in a statement.
Other startups in the green data center market include:
- JouleX, which can monitor energy usage of any device with an IP address without the need to install clients or hardware – it can even monitor IP enabled HVAC units.
- PowerAssure, a software-as-a-service that can provide real-time insight into energy efficiency.
- 1e a company that helps reduce energy consumption by identifying unused servers.
Data center efficiency has been on the minds of many the last several weeks, with IBM promoting the benefits of an optimized facility, and Google tooting its own horn with its recently-released reports on the efficiency of its own centers and of course last year Facebook opened its data center specs. And Wikibon highlighted five exemplars of “green” data centers earlier this week.
“Green data centers go beyond environmental benefits– they impact the ‘green’ in the wallets of the companies that build them too. Sustainability is the realization that economic and environmental objectives are not counterpoised, but are complementary,” as Wikibon says.
And while Vigilent is all about automation, the rising trend of data center and cloud consultancy is visible when it comes to optimization and environmental benefits – EMC Consulting, for example, offers data center consulting that highlights both performance and IT environmental friendliness as goals, as does HP.
Big data analytics are a tool – but there’s no reason that they can’t be used internally to improve IT services, even as they come into their own for customer service, deeper insights into user habits, and more.