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Cisco's EnergyWise Additions Make Green a No-Brainer

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Control Solutions, Inc

SAN JOSE, CA Green business practices often make sense from a cost savings perspective, from a social responsibility perspective, and from a stakeholder engagement perspective. But there often remains the obstacle of actually implementing a new solution, and that obstacle can be insurmountable without the proper incentives.

Cisco announces a slew of hardware and software additions to its year-old "Borderless Networks" platform, focused on energy management, network security, and video streaming capabilities across a company.

But the innovation that may have the biggest impact is one that will make it practically automatic for thousands of companies to upgrade to sophisticated energy management tools. For free.

The new EnergyWise Orchestrator platform, an energy management platform that lets the IT department manage the energy used by any device connected to the network -- from servers to PCs to wireless routers. And, according to Inbar Lasser-Raab, Cisco's senior director of network solutions, that platform is available to almost any company that bought a Cisco switch in the last five years.

In an interview today, Lasser-Raab explained that companies that have purchased Cisco fixed switches that are still covered under the maintenance contract can download the Orchestrator software for free and begin using the energy management tools right away.

There benefits to the EnergyWise Orchestrator are significant; by enabling centralized, policy-based control over both power-over-ethernet (PoE) as well as PCs, companies can save as much as 30 percent on their energy bills right away.

Lasser-Raab said that, depending on which analysts' figures you look at, Cisco has about 50 percent market share for fixed switches, so the Orchestrator rollout could have potentially huge energy savings.

As a generic example, Cisco offered a county government office building with 10,000 PCs. Without any energy management software in place, the organization will pay $770,000 a year to its energy company. By using EnergyWise to turn those PCs off at night, it will save $280,000 a year, and by including non-PC assets in its energy management policies, it will save an additional $150,000 a year.

More specifically, the Zurich airport in Switzerland has been using the Borderless Access platform across the site, and has cut its power consumption by as much as 50 percent, while still allowing internet access to staff, partners, maintenance crew, and airline passengers.

Cisco has also created an EnergyWise Business Value Calculator to allow companies to estimate their savings and ROI for a network upgrade.

With more and more companies adopting building energy management as a cost-saving and emissions-reducing measure, Cisco's EnergyWise is a step toward a unified tool for managing the entire facility's energy use. And Lasser-Raab said that Cisco is in discussions with Schneider Electric to bring the two firms' technologies together for a deeper level of building energy management.

In addition to the EnergyWise Orchestrator launch, Cisco today is releasing a number of new hardware devices, including new fixed switches in its Catalyst line, a new Integrated Services router, and new software for its ASR router series.

The new hardware is designed with energy efficiency in mind, and Cisco expects the devices to save as much as 50 percent of the energy used by previous generations of hardware.

"Every time we roll out new products, we're putting a lot of empahsis on power usage and our own footprint," Lasser-Raab said in an interview yesterday. "EnergyWise can elevate that to a whole new level." Source from Greener Computing
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