Schneider Electric's APC Brings Energy Assessment To Channel Partners

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Energy management technology developer Schneider Electric has introduced a new channel program aimed at helping solution providers do energy assessments for customers.

Schneider Electric, whose businesses include power management device maker APC, introduced the energy assessment capability to its channel program in response to a growing demand from data center customers for more efficient use of power, said Gordon Lord, director of IT distribution and channel marketing for the West Kingston, R.I.-based company.

"The demands of energy for data centers are increasing while the supply is decreasing," Lord said. "Just look at what virtualization is doing. It is becoming efficient to virtualize storage and servers. But at the same time, it is leading to an increase in density. We need to look at ways to address these hotspots."

[Related: Power, Environmental Concerns Driving Data Center Design]

Under the program, APC by Schneider Electric engineers visit potential data customers on behalf of the solution provider to do energy audits of current data center operations as well as assessments on how they might be impacted by moving part of their operations to a public or private cloud, Lord said.

The cost of a basic assessment is minimal, and solution providers can use market development funds to pay for it, he said. However, the rewards for the partner can be big. "When we do assessments, partners say they are getting a 10-times to 12-times pull-through on APC products and services," he said.

After the assessment, the customer gets a report detailing energy use from the service entrance through all the different areas of the data center, Lord said. "They'll see how efficient -- or how inefficient -- they are," he said. "And they'll get vendor-neutral recommendations, including where to control airflow or use blanking panels."

The assessment includes a module called IT Optimize, which looks across a data center's server networks to report on utilization relative to efficiency, Lord said. "It looks for zombie servers, or servers which are not really running applications," he said. "It can help manage the entire network from an energy standpoint."

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