John Lewis tests Cisco energy saving tech

John Lewis has been one of the first end users to test technology introduced this week to measure, report and reduce the energy used by internet protocol (IP) devices.

The UK department store chain has been using Cisco's EnergyWise technology for Cisco Catalyst switches for the past few months, and is poised to roll it out fully to its head office in an initial deployment phase.

"We're already using it to switch off IP phones at night and we're about to do some other work with it on our Ethernet network," said Steve Parker, John Lewis' technical architect. "It's early days, but it was an easy fit with our existing network infrastructure."

As a long-term user of Cisco networking kit, John Lewis begin testing the EnergyWise technology in support of its overall green IT' strategy that has also seen it consolidate its servers and switch its desktops at night, among other initiatives.

Gary Hird, John Lewis technical strategy manager, also told IT PRO that Cisco's technology vision fitted with the retailer's own corporate social responsibility (CSR) plans, which have strong buy-in from across the business.

Parker added: "We're not at the bleeding edge in terms of releases, so we were pleased that the EnergyWise software was a good fit.

"It gives us continuity of investment and introduces energy management capability into the most logical control plane to gain a holistic view of how we can save energy throughout our IT infrastructure and be more supportive of facilities."

The retailer has taken advantage of the first phase of the Cisco initiative's development, called Network Control. EnergyWise will be supported on Catalyst switches to manage the energy consumption of IP devices such as phones, video surveillance cameras and wireless access points.

Cisco has also announced industry partnerships with Schneider Electric for building utility management, SolarWinds for network monitoring and Verdiem for monitoring PC power to extend EnergyWise as a power management platform across IT and the building systems by early 2010.

It added that it recently acquired Richards-Zeta's middleware to enable the management of power consumption for entire building systems such as lights, elevators, and air conditioning and heating.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.