Green Data Centers: Does Cisco Have a Plan?

Cisco (s CSCO) is no stranger to the green IT scene. It has publicly announced its smart grid intentions and, for years, has touted the carbon-cutting benefits of its teleconferencing technologies. But when it comes to data centers, Cisco has been outgunned by its rivals.

While IBM (s IBM) mounted huge campaigns like Big Green and Smarter Planet, the computer networking giant has kept a comparatively low eco-profile. So far, Cisco’s green efforts boil down to dabbling in energy management, moving into the smart grid, cutting the energy consumption of its network hardware and reducing packaging — an odd state of affairs considering the company’s position as a prime supplier of data center–focused IT equipment.

But in recent weeks, Cisco has been demonstrating that it does indeed have a green data center strategy, even if it isn’t shouting it from the rooftops. This week’s roll out of EnergyWise 2.0 — an upgraded version of its network energy management tool — expanded its reach into a network’s nooks and crannies and opened up the platform to developers to help lay the groundwork for energy-aware networks. The company is also making a play for the containerized data-center market, centered around fast and efficient Lego-style data center builds.

I think Cisco’s on the right track, and I’ve laid out my reasoning over at GigaOM Pro (subscription required). What about you? Can Cisco catch up in this market, or are its efforts too little too late?