Power Assure box manages power in data center

Data center start-up Power Assure introduces an appliance and hosted application for matching server power with computing demand, which can lower energy usage by as much as 50 percent.

Data center start-up Power Assure today launched a system for reducing wasted energy in corporate data centers and announced that energy conglomerate ABB is an investor.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has developed a system that scales back power usage of data centers' servers based on the computing load. By fine-tuning power management, the company says that it can cut energy costs by about 50 percent.

Peaks and valleys: Power Assure says its system matches power output with computing demand.
Peaks and valleys: Power Assure says its system matches power output with computing demand. Power Assure

The system includes an appliance that goes into the data center and a hosted application which analyzes operational information from a data center, explained founder and chief technology officer Clemens Pfeiffer.

The application tracks computing demand and, if demand is slow, the system will start to lower power consumption of servers by turning off fans or throttling their usage, Pfeiffer explained. The application also reads data from systems management applications to make sure that too many servers aren't being turned off and that service levels are still being met.

Data center operators are trying a number of techniques to lower energy use and there are a number of applications to track energy usage. But most power-management software systems are mainly geared at reporting and visualization of energy data, rather than automation, said Jack Norris, the vice president of marketing at Power Assure. NASA is one of its customers.

The venture arm of ABB, which makes power equipment for utilities and other energy companies, will invest $1.5 million in PowerAssure. Having ABB as an investor will help PowerAssure's engineering and expansion to global markets, the company said. The company has raised $20.25 million in funding to date, including $5 million from the Department of Energy.

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About the author

Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.

 

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