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Cisco Manages Energy for Multitude of Electronic Devices

Energy Manage Cisco logoCisco has been talking about the “Internet of Things” for a few years. Now the company is beginning to talk about powering down all these “things” to save energy.

In July 2013, Cisco acquired JouleX – a provider of enterprise IT energy management for network-attached and data center assets. JouleX has since been incorporated into Cisco’s energy portfolio via its EnergyWise offering.

“We saw that the market for energy management is a growing one, particularly with IT pushing 25-80 percent of enterprise energy consumption, writes Cisco’s Global Communications Director Marc Musgrove, in a blog posting.

Musgrove points out that the numbers of electronic devices has exploded. Individuals own multiple devices from cell phones, to tablets, to laptops. And organizations such as schools and hospitals use a plethora of electronic devices, which all need to be plugged in and charged, resulting in a huge unmanaged IT expense.

“It’s unrealistic to expect individuals to power down their devices when not in use,” writes Musgrove. “At the same time, we’ve found that a single work place device is left powered on for an average of 8,000 hours over the course of its use but only actually utilized 25-50 percent of the time.”

The company estimates that if businesses have greater visibility into their operations, they can reduce energy costs by as much as 60 percent, and Cisco wants in on that energy management business. Cisco gives examples of two customers that have saved energy:

  • Using JouleX software, Indiana’s Hammond School District discovered 1,800 devices that were left powered on after hours during the week and 1,200 over the weekend. Armed with this information, the school district implemented policies to power devices down, and is now using 35 percent less power with an annual projected savings of $31,500.
  • The Nij Smellinghe Hospital in the Netherlands used JouleX to gained visibility into its IT environment and was able to achieve a 30 percent reduction in energy. Although the primary purpose of the software was to power off devices at night and turn them back on in the morning, the program also made employees more aware of energy management and resulted in changed behavior.
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