Cisco certainly isn't ignoring selling products directly for the Smart Grid itself, including home devices to help people manage their electric use. As I've written in the past, Cisco expects that the Smart Grid use may even eventually dwarf the Internet.
But according to CNet, Cisco believes that utility companies will need to invest plenty of money in data centers in order to manage all the data that will be generated by the Smart Grid. Here's what CNet says:
The tech giant is developing a suite of smart-grid products designed to add networking smarts to the existing grid, including routers for substations and home energy-monitoring systems. But a large chunk of the $20 billion per year in smart-grid spending that Cisco anticipates is in traditional data centers.The article goes on to note:
Since smart-grid technologies rely on a steady flow of information, Cisco expects that utilities will need to invest in more sophisticated IT systems, said Mark Weiner director of Data Center Solutions and a member of a Cisco smart-grid team.
If utilities are regulated to reduce peak-time usage, their IT needs shoot up even higher. Demand response, where a utility can turn down energy use at participating customer sites, requires utilities to poll information regularly from a potential large number of locations.Why is this good news for anyone wanting to green their data center? Because most likely, specialized software and hardware will be developed for the interface between the Smart Grid and data centers, for use by electric utilities. But every data center, not just ones run by utilities, should benefit. And that means you.
"The requirements are for huge amounts of data to be involved when you have these more advanced pricing models where the goal is to mitigate power generation," said Weiner. "The catcher's mitt for that data is the data center."