Power management company, Cassatt has joined the Green Grid, a non-profit consortium dedicated to improving energy efficiency in datacentres.

The Green Grid's mission is to promote the development of energy efficient processors, servers, networks and other technology and to promote best practices for datacentres. However, the consortium is not without its critics.

Last year, the Gartner Group criticised the Green Grid, and said it was missing the opportunity to influence legislation and behaviour for broader green issues. It also felt that member self-interest could prevent the group delivering tangible standards.

But Cassatt feels its public commitment to the group is justified.

"More than 65 percent of people we surveyed recently consider their datacentre energy efficiency 'average' or worse," said Bill Coleman, chairman and CEO of Cassatt.

"This is a serious issue with both immediate, bottom-line impact and broader, longer-term consequences. By joining The Green Grid, Cassatt is emphasising its very public commitment to work with key industry influencers to help customers identify and resolve their datacentre power problems."

Cassatt is known for its Active Response power management products, which turn servers on and off to save power when they are idle. These policy-driven products help reduce datacentre power demand.

Policies are set by users and the technology continually optimises power consumption based on the time of day, demand, curtailments imposed by power companies, or other facilities-based events. Some users have recorded a halving of their power usage as a result.

Datacentres are facing increased power costs and supply capacity limitations. Although software products from Verdiem and 1E exist and are being used to stop idle PCs wasting power, Cassatt provides an equivalent datacentre product turning servers on and off as demand for them fluctuates.

Cassatt says its Active Response technology is application-aware; it knows when and how applications can be systematically shut down and brought back up, and it understands application interdependencies shared across multiple servers. It is also hardware and software independent, running on any platform, and requiring no change to existing hardware and software configurations. The technology is compatible with existing power distribution and UPS equipment.

It can also pool physical and virtual servers, re-allocating them as policy and demand levels change. The technology uses a server's internal power controllers and external power distribution units. This means it can be installed quite quickly and easily without disruption to existing datacentre HW and SW.

IBM meanwhile has a product called Active Energy Manager (AEM), which enables datacentre staff to cap power usage and monitor energy usage by giving them a view of energy usage within a datacentre.

AEM supports IBM’s x86 System x hardware, servers using IBM's POWER processors and IBM storage products. IBM is adding system z mainframe support to it. Some hardware from other manufacturers is supported. Through the use of intelligent power distribution units, with older servers and other vendor's storage products plugged into them, AEM can monitor their power usage as well. It can also cap power usage on directly supported servers.