Data centers are big business, but so is the business of managing them. Schneider Electric announced on Tuesday that it would make a strategic acquisition in the data center space, picking up Viridity's data center infrastructure management software, EnergyCenter 2.0, which provides a link between the infrastructure, IT equipment and the applications that run on them.

The investment will bolster Schneider’s StruxureWare suite of products for operating data centers. StruxureWare already incorporated facility and infrastructure management for data centers, but Viridity adds the component of allowing Schneider’s customers to increase efficiency and manage energy use.

Schneider is not the only company with an eye towards data centers. Dominion Power recently announced a $1 million investment in Power Assure, which also specializes in data center power.

The focus is not surprising, given that data centers suck up more than two percent of the electricity in the U.S.

Schneider acquired Viridity, not Viridity Energy. Just a few hours after the announcement, Viridity Energy frantically tweeted: “Viridity Energy has NOT been acquired!”

Other startups abound in the data center space, including Sentilla and SynapSense, not to mention the big boys such as IBM and GE. But software startups continue to be popular acquisitions for the large players. Earlier this month, Siemens snagged its smart grid software partner eMeter, and last year ABB purchased Ventyx for $1 billion. Earlier this year, Schneider purchased Telvent, which offers real-time monitoring services and other technology to utilities, for $2 billion. Financial details of Schneider’s most recent acquisition were not disclosed.

The buying trend will only continue into 2012 as Schneider Electric -- and its competitors -- look to offer holistic solutions that marry demand response, energy efficiency, building and asset management and grid functionality.

Investors in Viridity Software include North Bridge Venture Partners and Battery Ventures.


Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article named Viridity Energy as the subject of the acquisition.