Cisco just announced its intention to spend $107 million on JouleX, a VC-funded startup that makes software to monitor and manage power usage of networked devices.

This is a good sign -- a healthy venture capital multiple in a green IT and energy management acquisition by Cisco.

SEC filings show JouleX as having raised $17.2 million back in 2011 from Target PartnersTechOperatorsSigma PartnersFlybridge Capital Partners and Intel Capital. The firm was founded in 2009 in Munich, Germany and will reside within Cisco’s Industry Solutions Group. The JouleX software will integrate with Cisco's EnergyWise energy-management system. 

JouleX is not an early-stage firm. It has had 11 consecutive quarters of revenue growth and a long list of customers including Cisco itself as well as BMW, Sony, Coca Cola, Equifax, Nestle Water, Schneider Electric, Danske Bank, and Deutsche Telekom. In 2012 it claimed to have won,"10 customer orders over six figures, and one over a million [dollars]." The firm added 100 new customers in 2012.

Tom Noonan, JouleX president and CEO said in a statement. “Our customers around the world are taking the lead in the ‘Sustainability’ Revolution, similar to the prominent roles they played in both the Quality Revolution and the Computer Revolution previously. The unprecedented growth that JouleX has experienced indicates the importance of enterprise energy management solutions as the lynchpins in this transformation. JouleX will continue to innovate to help provide the visibility and analysis required to help them control energy across their web scale enterprises -- from buildings and industrial controls to Data Centers and their distributed IT infrastructure.”

IBM bought Noonan's previous firm, ISIS, for $1.5 billion. 

The JouleX software allows the customer to monitor, measure and manage energy consumption of networks and IT systems across an enterprise without the need for hardware sensors or device-side agents.

JouleX claims its customers are reducing energy costs "by up to 60 percent."

Players in the data center efficiency space range include the usual IT giants, as well as power equipment giants such as Siemens, Schneider Electric and ABB, Trane, Emerson. On the smaller-company and startup front, we’ve got a long list of contenders such as RF Code, PowerAssure, SynapSense, JouleX, Sentilla and Vigilent (formerly Federspiel Controls) that have technology to help sensor, monitor and manage both building equipment assets and IT assets, as well as marrying those two sides of the data center into a useful single platform.

"Less software is our biggest differentiator," CEO Tom Noonan told us in an earlier interview, adding that the system is partly based around concepts from the way security software is deployed.