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For many years, IT client power management has been an area of challenge for many organizations. While energy-saving desktop and laptop hardware has been available for some time, power-saving settings are often disabled out of fears of data corruption, to support nightly IT operations, or simply from force of habit. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that no more than 10 percent of all Enterprise PCs in use have their power management capabilities turned on—a staggering statistic considering the headway that has been made in other areas of power reduction in the data center and in building facilities. At the same time, over 80 percent of desktops in most organizations are completely idle after 6:30 P.M. Quite literally, “The lights are on, but no one‘s home.” All of this contributes to the inability of organizations to take advantage of the energy savings, carbon output reductions, and significant cost savings that are possible with enterprise power management.

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3 provides a comprehensive set of power management tools to enable centralized client power management. Configuration Manager 2007 R3 tools allow organizations to monitor current power usage patterns, develop intelligent power management policies, apply and enforce those policies, and provide robust reports against subsequent power savings and carbon footprint reductions.

With these tools, organizations are also able to develop flexible power management strategies that make sense, giving them the ability to think about how and when their users work, create policy exceptions for critical systems or tools to enforce different power settings for peak and non-peak periods.

Conserving power at the desktop level translates not only into potential cost savings through power consumption reduction; it also has the side effect of helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of an organization. This, in turn, provides for greater movement toward green IT principles and, in the process, can help to make many organizations eligible for utility company rebates and refunds that may apply.

Client power management with Configuration Manager 2007 R3 can yield immediate and substantial cost savings with minimal effort and expense.

Why Is Power Management Important?

Energy Cost Savings – The most common driving force behind power management in many organizations is simple economics. Workstations use energy to spin hard drives, light monitors, and burn CPU cycles when not in use drain unnecessary power, resulting in higher energy bills. For a significant portion of the day, this equipment is unused and simply draining unnecessary power. Being able to manage the power settings of client systems centrally, making intelligent decisions about when a system needs to be powered or when power consumption can be throttled down can have a significant positive impact on the bottom line of an organization, particularly in a global economy where energy costs are significantly increasing.

Carbon Footprint Reduction – While often not the primary driver, a welcome benefit to overall energy reductions is a subsequent reduction in the carbon footprint that an organization places on the environment. The majority of power generated requires the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) in varying amounts, depending on the process used to generate the electricity. Wasted power subsequently means that more CO2 was released into the atmosphere than may have been required. Power management can subsequently allow an organization to demonstrate that it is making strides toward reducing its carbon footprint and implementing greener IT practices.

Energy and Utility Rebates – For many organizations, local power utilities have programs in place that offer electricity power reductions when specific energy reduction thresholds have been met or when implementing power-saving mechanisms such as client power management. For many of these utilities, there is a reporting aspect to the rebates which must be satisfied, and some require up to three years of reports to comply with the rebate requirements. Implementing power management techniques that allow for long-term reporting is required for the realization of these benefits.

Look for more to come on this topic, have a great week……..

Some resources for you:

  • Configuration Manager 2007 R3 RC Update now available here
  • Power Management, what do you get with Configuration Manager 2007 and R3? Read more here
  • Windows 7 Power Management Overview.  Read more here
  • System Center Configuration Manager evaluation and beta programs are here
  • What version of Configuration Manager do I need, and in what order? Find out more here
  • Update to ConfigMgr 2007 R3 Power Management Reports – demo here

me15Jeff Wettlaufer
Sr Technical Product Manager
System Center, Management and Security Division
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