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Cisco Seeing Green With EnergyWise Partner Program

The company's outreach to other green-power companies focuses on integrating power management with network devices to monitor and control power usage.
So how do the partners fit into Cisco's plans? SolarWinds Orion Network Performance Manager interacts with Cisco Catalyst switches to collect power consumption data. Power management policies are created in Orion Network Configuration Manager and configuration commands are sent back the Catalyst switches, which in turn forward the commands to the correct target.

Unless you're a SolarWinds customer, you won't be able to automate the power management, but it wouldn't be a stretch to expect other network management vendors to participate. Schneider Electric, for example, is planning on integrating their TAC Vista building management software. With TAC Vista, Dave Johnson, Schneider's senior VP of home and business networks, said companies can save 30% on energy bills. EnergyWise could expand those savings with control over IP devices. In addition, EnergyWise provides a migration path for non-IP connected powered device to an IP network. Verdiem provides the ability to manage PC and laptop power through an OS agent.

The endgame lies with integration with building automation systems to control HVAC and lighting as well as powering down workstations and laptops when not in use. Kevin Smith, CEO of Global Access Point, a data center and disaster-recovery services company, is particularly excited about EnergyWise. His company has embarked on a project to monitor power consumption from the transformer to the endpoint and then optimize usage based on demand.

"Most people have no idea where their power is being consumed, nor do they have a way to automatically reduce demand," Smith said.

His company is working on a building management system to monitor power consumption, predict demand, and automatically power down unnecessary devices. EnergyWise provides the common communications framework to collect power usage and push commands to network devices, which will save Global Access Point the time and expense of doing the integration itself.