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Viridity's Free Tool Measures Server Power Consumption

Viridity Software is giving away a free energy-efficiency, health check application. The company says the application, Energy Check, will analyze server power-utilization and deliver a report summarizing server utilization and the overall power/cooling savings opportunity in as little as a week. The company developed the tool to address customer demands for a simple, non-intrusive way to understand power consumption, utilization and tying IT investment back to the business. Discovering hidden power, cooling and space capacity can generate cost savings ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, says the tool can give customers some quick and easy insight into their IT environment. "Being free, it eliminates a whole cycle of budget approvals and purchasing. Users can simply download and collect data and get some value. Think of it as a no-risk, no-pressure, try before you buy," he says. Viridity hopes that a free 'lite' version will accelerate adoption of paid applications such as Energy Center, which discovers IT devices in the data center and tracks their power consumption in a MySQL database. The free tool can also improve brand awareness and make more end users familiar with Viridity's  products. Laliberte notes that other vendors such as SolarWinds also offer free tools to attract paying customers.

According to a recent Gartner report, "Data Center Power, Cooling and Space: A Worrisome Outlook for the Next Two Years," if the data center power, cooling and space problems were causing such headaches in a very depressed IT market, they will become significantly worse in an expanding market. The research company recommends that users implement energy-monitoring tools to manage and predict capacity requirements and to control operational costs.

ESG's Laliberte says there is a great deal of attention being paid to this space. "We are seeing a lot of convergence between the facilities and IT groups as power becomes more of a limited commodity. We are hearing about data centers that can't get any more power, so the only way to extend the life of a data center is to consolidate and optimize what you have. So organizations are consolidating and implementing server and storage virtualization technologies to drive down power consumption."

The more forward-looking companies aim to use monitoring solutions to provide a more active approach to managing power and cooling, he says, including options such as turning off desktops, using variable rate chillers or mapping potential hotspots and avoiding them. "Enlightened executives are making this more of a priority and we anticipate a great deal of investment in this area over the next few years."