Cassatt Corporation, a provider of software that makes data centers more efficient, recently announced a major new capability of its Cassatt Active Response products that enables the software to monitor the changing demand on servers and automatically turn them off when they become idle. The updated software is the first to enable data center managers to actively control server power usage in both predictable and unpredictable computing environments, reducing the amount of energy needed to run and cool data centers, while maintaining application reliability and responsiveness, the company said.

This unique, demand-based management capability is part of a major new update to the Cassatt Active Response product line. The new Cassatt Active Response 5.1 release offers:

o The ability to use demand-based policies to manage IT infrastructure in real time

o Increased compatibility and integration with third-party management solutions, and

o Management and control over a larger set of technology and data center equipment from multiple vendors.

The new demand-based policies in Cassatt Active Response can be used to ensure a data center uses only the resources it needs to meet its business requirements and no more. Customers can start out using this capability to simply detect and turn off servers once they are no longer in use, saving power despite unpredictable usage patterns. Beyond this, customers can have Cassatt Active Response watch application demand and add or remove physical or virtual servers, software, or network resources so applications deliver the service levels required in the most efficient way possible.

Early work with customers has shown that Cassatt Active Response can cut data center energy use 30 percent or more by powering servers down and back up again based on a regular schedule. By also using the new demand-based policies to automatically shut down servers that become idle at unscheduled times, data center energy savings could be as high as 50 percent.

"Data centers should use only what they need at any given moment," said Bill Coleman, chairman and CEO of Cassatt Corp. "But recent surveys by Cassatt, by McKinsey & Company, and by the Uptime Institute have all clearly shown that this is not the case. There is a huge amount energy waste in data centers overall, and some of the worst offenders are development and test environments.

"Cassatt is now providing customers a way to attack this problem, break out of 'business-as-usual,' and make a real difference in their energy and data center resource usage," said Coleman. "With Cassatt Active Response, you can for the first time have IT infrastructure that reacts automatically to demand, shutting components off or turning them on as needed."

Cut Power Costs Despite Unpredictable Usage Patterns

With this new release, customers can use demand-based policies to have Cassatt Active Response power down any server that meets their specific definition of "idle," whenever that might occur. In a development and test environment, for example, Cassatt Active Response can automatically power on servers for scheduled testing and then turn those servers off whenever the tests are complete and the environment is no longer in use. This active, demand-based control of servers lets organizations eliminate the enormous waste that results from the current practice of powering (and cooling) servers 24 by 7, despite being used for only a fraction of that time.

This new demand-based capability complements existing policy controls that Cassatt delivered when it introduced Cassatt Active Response, Standard Edition, and the Cassatt Active Power ManagementTM technology at the end of 2007. The initial product helped with the efficient operation of servers, using policies based upon time of day, specific events, or required capacity to power machines on and off safely, intelligently, and systematically. Cassatt Active Response also provides manual user overrides that can immediately turn on servers for unscheduled work.