Friday, January 16, 2009

The 'Bio Data Center': working with Bull on data center efficiency in Europe

Back in November, I mentioned that we had been working with some big customers to improve the way they run many of the largest data centers in North America. With Tuesday's partnership announcement with Bull, Cassatt is expanding that focus to Europe as well.

If you didn't see the announcement, here's a very short recap: Bull has been working on a strategy to help its European customer base improve the efficiency of their data centers. They call it the "Bio Data Center." Sounds a bit esoteric, but the concept is very similar to what Gartner calls a real-time infrastructure.

In short, they are working on ways to improve IT operations processes, data center architecture, and power consumption. Which, of course, sounded very familiar to a lot of what we're trying to do.

So, after a bit of investigation (including some pretty serious technical evaluations), Bull is putting Cassatt squarely in the center of their efforts. The joint work will give European organizations a way to get access to the Cassatt Active Response software without having to wait for us to build out a European field organization. (Having lived in London for 3 years while with BEA, I'm hoping that a Cassatt presence in Europe comes sooner rather than later, but I'll be patient for the moment.)

The partnership means Bull will distribute our software in Europe and other select geographies. Our software, as a reminder, uses policy-based management to control and optimize the diverse data center resources that support your applications (hardware, software, virtual machines, networks) without requiring you to change any of the pieces.

The idea is to take incremental steps that drastically cut your operations costs (our models show most folks can cut 30% pretty easily for starters) with the goal of simultaneously making your infrastructure able to match your business much more effectively.

To help get started, customers in Europe will be able to turn to Bull for strategic guidance and implementation help. We're already working with them on detailed training so their people on the ground in France, Germany, the U.K., and other parts of Europe can be as up-to-speed on our stuff as they are on the issues that data center managers in Europe are facing.

That's something Bull is bringing to the party: direct experience in those European data centers, which I always found to be at different stages of IT evolution than their American counterparts.

Here are a couple examples of what Bull and Cassatt see "over there":
- A much more activist role of government in creating "green tape" (as the 451 Group calls it) -- government regulations around energy efficiency in data centers
- A more pervasive adoption of methodical, structured processes like ITIL. Many data center managers over there make us over here look like cowboys shooting from the hip.
- A slower adoption and healthy skepticism of cloud computing
- The recession has not hit markets like France with the immediacy and profound impact on IT budgets that it has here in the States. Yet.

We look forward to collaborating with Bull in the coming months and years. I’ll post updates as our work across The Pond progresses. If you’re a European organization interested in finding out more, drop us a line (

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