JouleX gets $17M to boost data center efficiency

Atlanta-based data-center-efficiency startup JouleX has raised $17 million from Sigma Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners, Intel Capital, (s intc) Target Partners and TechOperators. As energy prices rise, energy generation facilities are stretched and hyperscale becomes normal, companies like JouleX should find it easy to spread their message.

As we reported Thursday, data center operators are increasingly running out of power or simply finding power costs consuming too great a percentage of the IT budget. Paired with increased computing demand forcing some build entirely new data centers, energy efficiency becomes an even bigger issue. To help save power and money, they’re looking at a number of options ranging from server consolidation to cloud computing.

As data center engineers from Facebook, Netflix (s nflx) and other large operators will no doubt discuss at Structure 2011 (now less than two weeks away), these issues are exacerbated at webscale because there is continuous heavy traffic across tens of thousands of servers.

JouleX is one of a handful of startups, including Racktivity and Viridity, determined to solve the energy issue by monitoring the energy consumed by every device within a data center or across a network. The company’s flagship product, JouleX Energy Manager, takes a fairly unique approach to the problem by being agentless (i.e., there is no need to install anything on the monitored devices) and by incorporating a policy engine that actually governs energy usage based on user-defined rules.

JouleX, which has about 100 customers around the world, says it will use the new cash to further expand its global presence. In November, JouleX was among the first 12 winners of General Electric’s (s ge) “ecomagination challenge,” which garnered it a share of the $55 million award.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Pylon757.