Schneider Electric Acquires Viridity to Increase Power Management Offerings

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2011-12-22 Print this article Print

With its acquisition of Viridity, Schneider Electric is the latest in a long list of UPS hardware manufacturers that are investing in software to expand their product portfolio.

Schneider Electric is acquiring Viridity's EnergyCenter 2.0 platform, aiming to provide data center managers complete visibility over IT and facility operations, especially when it comes to power management and green technology. Schneider Electric's strategic investment in EnergyCenter 2.0 will enhance the company's existing data center management suite, StruxureWare, by adding functionality to track energy use more closely and manage resource efficiencies for IT components including routers, servers and switches. Viridity's software is designed to track server utilization, gather data and monitor IT assets for all mission-critical physical systems of the data center, according to Schneider Electric.

Although some of those capabilities already exist in Schneider's StruxureWare suite, the EnergyCenter 2.0 platform will add the ability to proactively manage energy use and increase efficiency.

"We are very pleased to welcome the Viridity team and their award-winning Energy Center 2.0 platform and look forward to incorporating this solution into Schneider Electric's line of software solutions," Schneider's CTO of IT Business Jim Simonelli wrote in a statement. "Our entrepreneurial cultures are extremely complementary and we expect immediate synergies in the development of Schneider Electric's next generation DCIM software."

The acquisition of EnergyCenter 2.0 follows a deepening strategy by French-based Schneider Electric to fill out its product suite for data center infrastructure management (DCIM). Earlier this year, the company acquired Lee Technologies, a North American service provider for data centers, and unveiled a modular power and cooling architecture for data centers.

Schneider Electric is not the only manufacturer to dive into power monitoring and management.

Eaton Systems is evolving its hardware and software technology to create a single pane of glass view of power usage at the UPS outlet level, while Emerson Network Power has been expanding its portfolio of power management and DCIM solutions.

David Cappuccio, an analyst at Gartner, noted in a recent report, "Forward-thinking companies have realized that to run data centers efficiently, and to extend their lives indefinitely, it is not logical to treat data center facilities and IT assets separately, because without one the other can't operate. When enterprises start to focus on all the components that make up the ecosystem, they will begin to make informed long-range decisions."

Apparently, DCIM and power management are starting to become growth-oriented technologies and the market is bound to heat up further as manufacturers extend their management reach deeper into the data center and enterprise operations. According to Forrester Research, DCIM is expected to grow to 60 percent by 2014, versus only 1 percent growth in 2010.

There are several trends driving the adoption of DCIM, including increased power and heat density, data center consolidation, virtualization and cloud computing, increased reliance on critical IT systems and green IT initiatives.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at

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