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Taking the measure of things

In these days of ever-increasing dependence on network structures to run business, we need to be able to resolve information bottlenecks fast. BaseN provides real-time reporting and monitoring to enable these problems to be fixed rapidly and predict future occurrences. The same grid technology also offers exciting new opportunities for monitoring energy consumption and efficiency, in the home and elsewhere.
BaseN Corporation

BaseN has developed a comprehensive suite of infrastructure monitoring and reporting services for the enterprise market, giving customers the ability to pinpoint and resolve bottlenecks, outages, and third-party problems within seconds of their occurrence.

Small devices within a customer’s network act as data collectors feeding a BaseN grid, and the system continuously polls data from routers, switches, and network servers, displaying them on a customer-friendly graphic interface.

In the case of a drop in network performance, it only takes a few seconds before SMS, email, and MMS messages reach the people responsible, with a full fault report and recommended responses.

Unlike traditional network and service management packages, which are centralised and require substantial hardware investments and maintenance, the BaseN Service Platform can be used easily with a customer’s existing network, and a standard Web browser provides full management access. This approach offers increased stability, high flexibility and scalability, as well as substantially reduced costs.

Taking the technology further

The BaseN Platform – built on a distributed computing grid giving linear scalability, exceptionally high processing speeds, and high resilience – represents a new approach to large-scale data management, and provides new tools to analyse, secure, and safeguard data.

A BaseN Energy Awareness Technologies (BEAT) monitoring unit takes measurements up to once a minute to provide maximum granularity. Photo: Juha Rahkonen

Although the BaseN Platform was originally developed for IT network monitoring, the ability to integrate it with sensors and other measurement devices opens up new possibilities for using it in the utility sector and building automation.

As it leverages its next-generation grid technology for environmental probes and real-time energy measurement, BaseN expects the energy, gas, and water measurement services sector to provide significant additional growth for the company.

BaseN’s vision is that – with access to data on their energy consumption – people will become increasingly interested in testing and comparing the energy efficiency of electrical devices at home and managing their energy consumption.

The idea is to enable companies or individual consumers to monitor their energy consumption via real-time, Web-based data – whether it is the energy used by corporate servers and computers or household lights and appliances. Broken appliances will be much easier to detect with the help of real-time data, and the system can also provide new tools to enhance our ability to save energy and promote energy awareness.

A large-scale pilot programme across thousands of European homes, based on this concept, is due to start next year, paving the way for millions of households in the near future.

> Pasi Hurri
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)