Question: How can you track the energy profile of every server asset in a data center, even if it's not actually connected physically with the remote monitoring system?
Answer: Invest in patent-pending technology from Sentilla, which this week is starting to sell its Sentilla Energy Manager into commercial accounts. The product uses intelligent power strips, which communicate information about power consumption back to the central management console wirelessly via a series of microprocessors. "Our target is anyone with a data center that has 10s to 10,000s of servers," says Joe Polastre, CTO of the company, which recently snagged $7.5 million in Series B financing.
Polastre says his company's software works by monitoring energy usage, comparing how it varies across a data center and then making suggestions about how to modify settings, configurations or applications for the maximum impact. That's a key point: You can actually track the impact that a particular software application or database is having on your data center's energy profile.
The Sentilla technology is priced on a per-server, per-outlet basis, starting at $250 and declining as volumes increase, Polastre says. (That's if you want to buy the technology as an enterprise license; Sentilla Energy Manager is also available through a SaaS model.) Among Sentilla's early customers is Sun Microsystems, which is deploying the software in its Executive Briefing Center in Santa Clara, Calif., according to Polastre.