On the Cover
Power management – who cares?
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 06:14
Written by Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith, Kaseya
It is projected that Eskom’s electricity hikes from 2009 to 2013 will reach 260%. This is substantial, and will impact every South African, and every South African business. As individuals switch to solar geysers and gas ovens, organisations are installing eco-friendly air-conditioning units and printers, and movement-sensitive illumination. Yet, strangely, the PC rarely enters the energy discussion. The perception is that when it comes to computers, levels of energy consumption are negligible.
To put some perspective on the issue, the 2009 PC Energy Report states: “If the world’s one billion computers powered down for one night, it would save enough energy to power the New York City Empire State Building, inside and out, for more than 30 years.” The report is not only referring to data centres and server farms; in fact, personal computers and monitors account for 39% of the information and telecommunication industry’s emissions.
Here are the facts: 80% of users disable the power settings on their PCs. Thus, PCs do not automatically power off or go into energy-saver mode overnight or during periods of inactivity. This results in a global carbon footprint equivalent to the emissions of 43.9 million cars.
Fortunately, power management policies are neither costly to implement, nor time-consuming to manage. These days, they can be centrally managed – so individual machines do not require individual attention. Rather, policies can be enforced, organisation-wide, from a single location.
More aggressive power management policies mean more savings, without compromising productivity. These should include: turning monitors and hard-discs off sooner, and putting systems into standby or hibernation modes sooner. Machines can also be ‘woken-up’ for maintenance, and shut down once maintenance is complete. Additionally, if administered from a single location, organisations have the ability to reinstate policies automatically if users disable them.
If reducing the carbon footprint isn’t motivation enough, case studies show conservative savings of in excess of R250 000 per annum, for an organisation with 500 PCs – just from powering down computers which are not in use.
About the author: Andrew Smith is a sales engineer at Kaseya International.
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