Cisco Talks Smart Grid at Cisco Live

At Cisco Live, Cisco officials show off the company's Network Building Mediator Manager 6300, designed to enable businesses to more easily manage all of their systems that consume energy.

Cisco Systems is unveiling a host of solutions designed to help businesses and consumers better manage their energy consumption and reduce their impact on the environment.

At the Cisco Live show in Las Vegas, held June 27 to July 1, company officials rolled out the Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager 6300, part of the larger Smart Connected Buildings strategy.

The offerings are part of Cisco's efforts to use its networking expertise to help create IP-based environments that can help drive down energy consumption and power costs in businesses and homes.

The Network Building Mediator Manager 6300 gives businesses a central enterprise portal through which to manage the myriad systems within a facility that consume power.

Cisco's Network Building Mediators monitor and manage power-consuming systems in a building. The Network Building Mediator Manager 6300 is designed to tie together all these systems via an IP network, and enable businesses to manage all the mediators from a single place.

The technology is designed to let businesses make their buildings more efficient and less costly to operate by reducing energy consumption and system downtime. It also alerts users to problems that can be remediated before those problems impact the businesses.

"Business energy requirements in commercial buildings represent a large percentage of the world's overall energy consumption," Sandeep Vij, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Converged Building Systems Business Unit, said in a statement. "Providing management, facilities and IT teams with clear, real-time visibility into the impact of energy flows is a first step toward managing buildings in a more intelligent way."

The Network Building Mediator Manager 6300 enables "small teams to take actionable decisions across multiple buildings and campuses using a simple interface," Vij said. "By enabling multiple, disparate building automation systems and protocols to be effectively monitored and managed over IP, Cisco is delivering on the network as the platform for sustainable management of real estate and IT."

The Network Building Mediator Manager 6300 comes with a global navigator that brings enterprisewide visibility and alarm monitoring capabilities. It also offers scheduling tools and graphical pages that give users insight into such building systems as HVAC, lighting and metering.

For consumers, Cisco is offering the Home Energy Controller. The display, which can sit on a countertop, gives consumers more information about their energy use, so they can make informed decisions regarding their power consumption and ways to create policies to save money on power.

The device has an LCD touch screen through which consumers get information regarding devices-such as thermostats, intelligent sockets and smart appliances like refrigerators-that communicate with the controller.

Consumers will get the Cisco controller through utility companies as part of Smart Meter deployments.

Cisco also announced hosted Energy Management Software services for utilities, which the company said can use the offering to manage energy data from "thousands of homes."