451 Research: TrendPoint Systems

451 Research: TrendPoint Systems

TrendPoint Systems develops and sells systems for branch circuit monitoring, and reporting software for datacenters. Enersure Bus, for busway power distribution, is TrendPoint’s flagship product. The company has extended its monitoring meter line to include panel board implementations with its integrated branch circuit power meter (iBCPM). In addition, all the company’s meters now include a common communications xD card. The card includes memory to record data points. These new products further focus TrendPoint on flexible power-metering offerings and branch circuit monitoring, and deemphasize its involvement in datacenter infrastructure management (DCIM) software.

The 451 Take

With the addition of TrendPoint’s new panel board meter, the company can address all the power-distribution architectures in the datacenter. This allows it to market a platform as opposed to discrete products, which could increase deal sizes. TrendPoint’s flagship EnerSure Bus product and xD communications card both indicate the company’s focus on larger or more advanced users and multi-tenant operators. These advanced users are the most likely to need ‘utility grade’ accuracy for billing, meeting service-level agreements and charging back to business units. Although this is a targeted approach, TrendPoint’s addressable market (multi-tenant operators and advanced users) is large and increasing. TrendPoint has room to grow. The company will face competition from many different suppliers selling branch circuit monitoring, intelligent PDUs, meters and sensors. Context With all of TrendPoint’s datacenter power meters, the company focuses on flexibility. TrendPoint says its sensors can monitor various amperages and different sized current transducers. Once installed, its products can handle different voltages, and changing breakers and subpanels, TrendPoint says – which means the surrounding power-distribution setup of the datacenter can be altered without affecting its meters’ performance. TrendPoint says its meters are accurate to within .5%, compared with some other meters on the market that are within 2-5%. The company also sells some light monitoring and management software, primarily as a sales-enabler and front end for its hardware. TrendPoint is private and does not publicize financials; however, 451 Research estimates it has $6m in annual revenue, the majority coming from hardware. The company says it has 100 installations of its hardware, up from 75 in November 2012, and claims 450% year-over-year revenue growth. TrendPoint has 12 employees, and uses partners to manufacture and install equipment. Technology There are four main ways to distribute power in a datacenter: busways, floor-mounted power distribution units (PDUs), traditional PDUs and panel boards. Most datacenters use a combination of these power-distribution architectures. For example, panel boards are in almost all datacenters. In larger facilities, panel boards are typically used in conjunction with another approach, such as PDUs. In smaller server closets and server rooms, panel boards may be the only distribution architecture. TrendPoint now offers power-monitoring meters for busways (EnerSure Bus), PDUs (EnerSure) and panel boards (iBCPM). With its iBCPM product, TrendPoint has meters for all datacenter power-distribution architectures. Busways are typically deployed in large datacenter builds with an open floor plan and a predictable layout. In a busway system, IT racks connect directly to the busway overhead. Compared with traditional distribution, busways are less common, cost more initially and are easier to manage. Most datacenter operators choose this architecture for its flexibility. Busways are frequently used in multi-tenant datacenters (MTDC) and newer, larger datacenters. EnerSure Bus is for datacenters with busway distribution, and began shipping in October 2012. EnerSure Bus is typically deployed as part of a datacenter retrofit, as opposed to a new build. The product has been very successful – it now accounts for more than 40% of TrendPoint’s revenue, thanks to rapid growth in the MTDC sector. Panel boards are found in most datacenters, but they are the principal distribution architecture in only smaller datacenters or those that need customized distribution. Compared with other power-distribution techniques, panel boards are more difficult to install which may lead to errors but they cost less and can be deployed more quickly. TrendPoint’s iBCPM monitors panel boards, and gathers information on amps, volts, power factor, watts and kWh. Once the power information is gathered, it can be fed into building management systems and DCIM products. IBCPM can communicate using Modbus TCP, SNMP and BACnetIP protocols. This product is usually deployed as part of new datacenter builds, as opposed to retrofits. EnerSure is TrendPoint’s PDU meter. TrendPoint has offered the product for several years, and continues to sell it today. All of TrendPoint’s power-monitoring devices that were shipped after February 2013 have a digital card called the xD card. The xD card provides data logging and alarm recording. With the xD card, a datacenter operator can correlate events between alarms and what caused them. Using xD’s digital card, TrendPoint monitoring devices can record data from up to 120 data points; each card can store 2-4GB of data, which can be fed to a server for reporting and analysis. Using the xD card, the data is stored on the monitoring device, as well as sent to a central storage device. If IT has downtime, TrendPoint’s products can continue monitoring power and saving power-usage data. This data can later be used for billing customers. Competition As a power-metering company, TrendPoint competes with a mix of vendors, including those that sell branch-circuit monitoring, intelligent PDUs, meters themselves and DCIM. Power Distribution Inc (PDI) is one of the leading branch-circuit monitoring vendors with its JComm product. Canara recently started offering a branch-circuit monitoring product. But the company (previously known as IntelliBatt) is better known for its battery monitoring. Veris Industries also provides power-monitoring devices and other sensors. Schneider Electric owns Veris, and sells multiple power-monitoring products under its PowerLogic and other brands. Racktivity is another rival; it offers datacenter power-monitoring software and smart power strips that claim similar accuracy to TrendPoint’s. Packet Power sells meters built into cables, and also competes with TrendPoint. Other DCIM suppliers with a focus on power monitoring include Eaton, Raritan, Server Technology Inc and Geist (whose Environet software is, like TrendPoint’s, partially built on Tridium Niagara). All of these provide monitoring hardware as well as software. Emerson Network Power provides Trellis, its DCIM suite, as well as a variety of smart power strips and other hardware for power measurement. Panduit, with its acquisition of Unite Technologies, provides monitoring hardware and software as well.  

SWOT Analysis

Strengths TrendPoint now has meters for all datacenter power-distribution architectures. This broadens its reach within the datacenter. Weaknesses Not all customers need meters that are as accurate as TrendPoint’s. For most implementations, ‘utility grade’ is not necessary. Opportunities TrendPoint’s high-accuracy meters and its EnerSure Bus product position the company well to penetrate the growing MTDC market. Threats TrendPoint will need to compete not only with other branch-circuit monitoring companies, but with other types of technologies as well, including DCIM monitoring through protocols and intelligent PDUs. – – – Analyst: Katie Broderick Publish Date: August 16, 2013 https://451research.com/report-short?entityId=78318

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