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Cisco gobbles cloud power meter biz JouleX for $107m

Data center energy control-freak snapped up

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The cash-laden and ever-acquisitive Cisco Systems is at it again, and has snapped up JouleX, which has created a set of cloudy software tools to monitor and manage power consumption in the data center.

Cisco is shelling out $107m to acquire JouleX, and said in a statement that this price included cash and retention-based incentives (presumably to keep key employees on board) for all of the shares in the company, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

JouleX was founded in Munich, Germany, in 2009 by Rene Seeber, the company's CTO, and Josef Brunner, the company's chief architect, both of whom had expertise in creating security software. (Brunner founded Bastille Networks, and Seeber founded Cobion, which was eaten by Internet Security Systems and which is now part of IBM after Big Blue bought it in 2006 for $1.5bn).

At Internet Security Systems, Seeber became acquainted with Tom Noonan, the co-founder and CEO of ISS, and in 2010, JouleX hired Noonan to be its CEO. Noonan's TechOperators early-stage venture capital firm was an investor in JouleX, kicking in $17m in funds in June 2011 with Sigma Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners, Intel Capital, and Target Partners all kicking in dough as well.

Cisco is already partnered up with JouleX for control-freaking electricity use in the data center, integrating with Cisco's EnergyWise power management software for its switches and routers. The JouleX Energy Manager can be used to monitor anything in the data center – power distribution units, switches, routers, servers, storage – as well as PCs, monitors, printers, wireless access points and anything else you can link to over a LAN or a WAN. The key to the tool is that it does this without needing to install agents.

JouleX will be tucked up into Cisco's Industry Solutions Group, under general manager David Stoddard, when the deal closes in the fourth quarter. The firm will be pulled into the Connected Energy Solutions team that is responsible for the EnergyWise tools. It stands to reason that Cisco will continue to sell and support JouleX Energy Manager and eventually merge the network power management features of the two products. Cisco is pretty vague about its plans.

JouleX has a development lab in Kassel, Germany, and presumably this will stay right where it is because that's where some of those key executives that Cisco is keen to retain work each day. ®

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