APC teams up with IBM on efficiency

APC teams up with IBM on efficiency

Integrated software will enhance data center visibility and control

Backup-power product maker APC and building automation vendor TAC will integrate their software management platforms with IBM's Tivoli Monitoring energy management tools, giving data center managers more visibility into and control over their systems, the company said Friday.

Better management of the data center can help solve inefficiency problems exacerbated by worldwide increases in data creation and computing requirements, APC executives said.

The integration joins Tivoli Monitoring with TAC's building management software, which focuses on indoor climate, security and use of energy, and with APC's InfraStruXure Central, an infrastructure management platform that combines power, cooling, management and security tools with server racks.

"By integrating InfraStruXure Central and TAC with IBM Tivoli Monitoring software administrators will be able to view, correlate and profile the dependencies of business process and IT assets to their underlying physical infrastructure," APC states in a press release. "The result will help monitor and manage efforts to reduce risk, raise data center system availability levels and increase energy efficiency."

The integration of the three products is in development and will be available to customers worldwide sometime in 2009, APC says. Pricing for APC InfraStruXure Central, which is already available, starts at around US$10,000. APC and TAC are owned by Schneider Electric.

APC described the integration and its vision for a more efficient and easy-to-manage data center on Friday during a media event at its Rhode Island facility. The company also said it is making electrical efficiency data for its enterprise power and cooling products available at its Web site.

"We really have to iPod-ize the data center. It's just getting too complicated to deal with all of it," said Neil Rasmussen, APC's senior vice president for innovation.

Joining with TAC and IBM is part of a holistic approach that APC says is necessary for cutting waste in server and storage rooms. "We will dramatically simplify the way data centers are designed, managed and how they are evolving," APC CEO Laurent Vernerey said.

One component, product or vendor can't provide all the answers to the data center efficiency problem, he said. "We believe only a system approach will allow us to deliver a solution to our customers," Vernerey said. "We do not believe that we alone can bring a solution to all issues."

Aaron Davis, APC chief marketing officer and North American region president, pointed to several trends showing how critical efficient use of data center space has become. Microsoft and Google are building data centers based on the location of the cheapest electricity, he said. Iceland has become a hot spot for data centers because of an abundance of geothermal energy. Quoting IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, Davis said "last year human beings produced more transistors than grains of rice."

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