Massachusetts-based Viridity Software has been officially launched as a company and has also unveiled its solution, which is aimed at providing a more holistic approach to greener data centres.
It’s an application-driven method to trace energy consumption through the physical infrastructure, IT equipment and applications layers. It analyses the findings and generates an actionable report, including visual modelling of what’s going on. There’s a graphic view of data centre assets mapped to power and cooling data for each component and tied to business applications as well as step-by-step "what to do next" recommendations.
Viridity argues that data centres have suffered from a lack of clear management - IT management, facilities management and others have all been involved, each with their own agenda. No one has a good overall understanding of the resources and capabilities, with the danger that the data centre stagnates, through fear of reaching capacity, or, alternatively, investment is made in equipment or applications that cannot be accommodated. Operational energy costs are now the biggest expenditure in data centres.
Viridity’s aim is to provide the cross-functional solution for understanding the connection between the physical layers and the applications. As Mike Rowan, Founder and CTO put it; “Today, most organisations focus on just the physical infrastructure – or, how the power is delivered to the data centre, as opposed to why it is being consumed. Viridity recognises that there needs to be a clear connection between the business and the power consumption. The breadth and depth of this correlation is critical, as this is where virtually all of the data centre’s power demand is derived from. In fact, over 70% of the average data centre’s opportunity for optimisation lies in the IT and application layer – while all other power consumption in the data centre (such as cooling) is simply reactive to what happens here. Once organisations fully understand these connections, they can establish actionable strategies to run more efficient, highly-optimised, eco-friendly data centres.”
It sounds an interesting solution and it is certainly a move to the next level of data centre energy management. This is clearly a path that is going to get more sophisticated over time as each level of efficiency is lost to the unstoppable growth in demand. It started with turning lights off and has moved on to letting machines run hotter, using natural cooling and similar obvious wins. At the same time, IT infrastructure is being consolidated and virtualised to increase server efficiency and minimise cooling needs. But ultimately it’s the applications that are driving demand. They have their own inefficiencies but also represent the ultimate priority – that’s what Viridity is addressing.
The company may be breaking new ground, but it’s a natural progression and this start-up won’t be on its own for long (if it is now).