Sentilla Energy Manager Wrings Power Savings Out Of Data Centers

With Tuesday's launch of Energy Manager 3.3, the latest version of its flagship product, Sentilla is extending application performance and energy metering to both virtual and dedicated environments. The subscription-based offering allows customers to determine, in a watts-per-terabyte measurement, precisely how much energy an application is consuming and how overall power usage could be improved.

Customers can use Energy Manager to identify specific workloads for virtualization and figure out whether public or private cloud best fits their needs, according to Joe Polastre, Sentilla CTO and co-founder.

"This lets you look at the workloads of different systems to figure out how much power they're consuming, without having to install a meter," Polastre said in an interview. "We take all of the reading and telemetry to give you a view not just of the performance but also the efficiency of the data center."

Sentilla was founded in 2003 and its initial focus was on applications for industrial management aimed at minimizing energy consumption and waste. Four years ago, Sentilla adopted its platform for data centers after realizing that many of the problems data centers face are similar to those in the industrial space.

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"There is an industrialization of IT going on and data centers need to be treated as factories. You should be applying process optimization to the data center to maximize the work being done, while minimizing the energy waste," Polastre said.

Polastre said Energy Manager is a potent antidote to "virtualization stall," the phenomenon of companies hitting the brakes on virtualization once they've moved their desktops and servers to the technology. It's especially pronounced in production environments, where application owners are resistant to allowing their workloads to be virtualized, mainly because problems can be job-threatening.

However, "Sentilla can offer insight into how much money these applications are costing every year from en efficiency standpoint, and that's a driver for pushing more virtualization into tough areas," Polastre said.

Sentilla works mainly with Global 2000 firms in the telecommunications, financial services and manufacturing sectors. The company provides installation and configuration services for Energy Manager, but relies on channel partners to sell the product and has close ties with both VMware and SAP partners.

Polastre said VARs can package Energy Manager into a cloud solution to help customers keeps tabs on energy management as they move to private cloud infrastructure.

"It's a nice complement to partners' work in virtualization consolidation and private cloud," he said.

The cost of a Sentilla Energy Manager subscription is based on the number of racks a customer has in their data center, and application tracking and maintenance is included. Some customers have as few as 50 racks while others have as many as 8000, Polastre said, but generally Energy Manager is priced at between $50 and $100 per rack.