Intel Capital, the chipmaker’s venture capital arm, has invested $30 millions among four startups: Adaptive Computing, Nexant, Ciranova and Joyent. Of the four firms, three echo Intel’s pursuit of efficient data centers and cloud infrastructures. (Ciranova is pioneering “mixed analog-digital” chips. Interesting? Yes. Green? Potentially yes.)
Joyent develops the technological underpinnings for platform-as-a-service (PaaS) clouds (public, private and hybrid) and Adaptive Computing specializes in cloud management via its Moab software. Both can potentially help businesses drastically cut hardware and energy costs by consolidating IT infrastructures, but it’s Intel’s bet on Nexant that reveals the critical role of energy monitoring and management in all future data center endeavors.
Nexant develops software that optimizes electrical grids, offers industrial energy efficiency assessment and management programs and is a leader in the clean energy certs and credit arena. It’s a fascinating and potentially lucrative mix of businesses to be involved in, particularly in this stage in the cloud computing game. You see, clouds need data centers, preferably energy-efficient ones that help keep energy costs and carbon emissions low. Nexant’s experience in complex energy systems and expertise in clean energy could help guide the industry toward ultra-efficient, low-cost computing facilities — perhaps even some zero-emissions facilities.
In any (and every) case, it looks like money well spent by Intel.