Channel Marker

Jul 11 2011   10:19PM GMT

Power to converge: IT networks + building networks

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

I’m in the process of wrapping up a story for about the burgeoning market for solutions and services in data center infrastructure management, or as some are starting to call it, DCIM. (Yay, another acronym!) Look for that piece to publish about one week once I wrap my brain around writing it.

There are several forces shaping these technologies, and the deployments of same. They include the push to “green” IT infrastructure or to be more specific, the push to cut the amount of power that things like data centers and networks suck up to do their job. No brainer, right?

It is until you start thinking about the fact that IT managers often don’t have directly responsible for managing the electricity budgets in their companies. That means the facilities managers are a key set of influencers in solutions focused on managing power usage across both what we would consider information technology (servers, storage, networking gear and such) and cooling technology (power distribution units, racks, chillers and so forth).

It is this fact of life that causing what I am coming to view as the next wave of convergence: the intersection of IT networks that connect servers, PCs, storage and other pieces of infrastructure and the building networks that typically are used to manage things such as security systems, lighting and climate systems such as air-conditioning units.

If you are a network integrator, the race is on among technology vendors hoping to capitalize on this convergence. There are two vivid examples from just this week, both announced during the Cisco Live conference:

Said Chris Curtis, president and CEO of the Buildings Business for Schneider Electric:

“Looking for innovative ways to increase energy efficiency and enable business performance within buildings is what Schneider Electric does every day with thousands of customers worldwide. Combining Schneider Electric’s EcoStuxure architecture and Cisco EnergyWise provides organizations with the capability to go one step further and manage the energy consumption of IT/IP devices and PCs in the building management system domain for the first time.”

The need for skills in energy management across entire facilities is becoming more pronounced every day. Network solution providers are in an ideal position to benefit from this power play.

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