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Are we Ready for Energy as a Service

Not sure if everyone saw the release yet but it was a big one. Our CEO introduced Cisco EnergyWise at Networkers Barcelona on Jan 27, 2009. For me personally it was very gratifying to see this solution come to market as there have been a small core group of, well…energy-wise people pushing this tirelessly for many months. The real credit goes to the developers and you can see their take on things here.What they’ve done and in many respects what we’ve done as an industry is huge in the context of Green, energy, the economy and to organizational structures supporting the business. I personally see it as the first major accomplishment in the new Green IT market. Not the moon landing yet but its at the very least a Sputnik. Why you say? Well with a simple code upgrade to IOS, you can now use your existing Cisco network as the monitoring and control plane for energy for just about anything you can IP address. You also do this in more or less the same way you manage any Cisco network today. Sound too Ginsu to be true? More on the inner workings here. EnergyWise marries up with our Richards-Zeta acquisition also announced on January 27th. RZ will provide us with mediation into building management systems allowing for a complete picture of energy use enterprise-wide.What I am really curious about is are we ready to adopt energy as a service we manage? Network Managers already handle security, voice, load balancing, countless volumes of routing tables and so on. How will taking on what is arguably the most critical service for any business change what we are doing today? I’m interested in hearing some thoughts on how everyone thinks this will play out? Especially any Network Managers who are curious, skeptical or otherwise.To get things started, here are some assumptions I’ve formed so please help me not make an assumption out of you = )1. First response could certainly be one of fear. I already manage security for the enterprise and now network security will include energy supply? Yikes!2. Second thought might delve into the professional development opportunities around building energy management programs within the org3. Security4. Major cost savings (in Cisco’s case its looking like $30M annually based on our initial estimates)5. Organizational structures between facilities and IT departmentsWe’re looking at it as an opportunity to open up major savings in a down market by simply shutting things of. With EnergyWise we can now build energy domains by tagging assets and centrally control all connected assets across our enterprise. With the development of this core code we are opening up the possibilities of monitoring and control of energy at scale. This approach vastly simplifies how you can implement energy monitoring, bill back and carbon accounting in a data center. It also eliminates the cost of any licensing for proprietary shutdown software.The EnergyWise team is looking for early adopter customers so please feel free to leave a comment here and mark as private if you prefer.Otherwise, what do you think about delivering energy as a service to the business using the network as the platform?

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4 Comments.


  1. Rob,If management & reporting of devices is a network-enabled service, which I think is a great idea – why poll hundreds of devices when I can pole one aggregation point- what sort of opportunities does Cisco foresee for partner developed applications?

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  2. Robb Boyd

    Rob, nice write up as usual…I can’t believe you resisted the urge to talk up your appearance on TechWiseTV next week. For those who follow this blog…hope you can tune in on Thursday 2/19/09 at 10 PST to not only see Rob Aldrich pontificate quite well but one of the EnergyWise developers John Parello. http://www.cisco.com/go/techwisetvThanks!Robb

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  3. Rob Aldrich

    Robbie! I was saving the thunder for a special post this Monday.I never miss a chance to pontificate…speaking of that, when can we expect a photo of Jimmy Ray actually hugging a tree?

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  4. Rob Aldrich

    Hi Brian,On management and reporting, its not done in a traditional multicast manner so we’re not polling in that sense. The main benefit over the way anyone can do it today using an aggregate point is the removal of proprietary barriers to management. In one respect this is what I mean when I say it can provide energy management at scale.On the partner front, absolutely. We are talking to many already and working with a handful. Up until recently, Richards-Zeta was one of those partners = )Stay tuned for the early summer (US) timeframe to see more on partner programs. Partners that are interested can submit inquiries through the feedback loop on the Efficiency Assurance Program (www.cisco.com/go/efficiency) and can learn more about how EnergyWise works at http://www.cisco.com/go/energywise.Hope that helps.Thanks for the comment Brian.

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