How to Reduce the PC Power Consumption

by Andy on August 20, 2012

It is well known within the IT industry that there is room for electricity cost savings and that an effective and efficient centralized power management of the corporate PCs can significantly reduce their power consumption. The basic savings can come from either unused or idle PCs and it can be up to 50% compared to PCs that are always ON. This means that can save your company up to $70 per PC per year in electricity costs. Extrapolating this, for every 1000 PCs the company can save up to 70.000 USD while at the same time reduce the CO2 emissions and contribute to a greener and healthier environment.

There are several software products in the market that would enable organizations to manage and optimize the power consumption of their PCs and Servers based on their specific needs and requirements. The software that would be selected should provide advanced centralized features and configuration options that would cater for maximum savings while at the same time avoid the disruption of the end users since energy savings would need to be realized when the users are active and the PCs on.  The software to be selected should additionally: 

  • Run centrally and have adequate management capabilities such as control, monitoring, and reporting
  • provide information about the power consumption, potential power savings and actual power saved per PC in various dimensions, and
  •  Allow the companies to plan,  track and optimize their power saving policies on an on- going basis since the electricity schemes vary from country to country

Let us now analyse in a relatively high level form the possible functionality of a centrally managed power savings system.

Save Power - PC power consumption

  1. Centralized Management:  Centralized Power management is definitely needed for organization of any size. Centralized management will enable companies to push and enforce power saving policies in an automated and uniform way with the least effort
  2. Optimization: The selected system should not only be centralized but should also have optimization capabilities by collecting , pulling, data from PCs and present them in a form so that different policies would be setup for different user profiles and different time periods
  3. On-Demand PC Wakeup: There are times that PCs need to be start up in order for administrators to patch them or apply active directory policies. The system that will be used should cater for such needs and should be tested for all models the organization may have. Different organizations have different security policies and PC separated in VLANs so all these should be handled efficiently. In addition, the availability and use of an employee’s portal for power wake up should be provided by the right power management system
  4. Reporting Capabilities: There should be extensive and continually updated reporting capabilities that should run from a central database. This means that it would be an advantage for the power management software to be built on standard databases like SQL and Oracle.

As we all understand it, saving power automatically means saving money for the company. So with the right Return on Investment, ROI, analysis, we justify the purchase a power management tool within your organization.  However is it just about money? How about the Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, and the Green Policy of your organization? It is well understood that saving money is just one side to the coin, the other side of it the Green Energy saving and the help to the environment in many ways. Some of which are:

  • Reduction of CO2 emissions: Powering off the computers means saving energy which implies less consumption of electricity thus less production of electricity and less burning of fuel and less pollution. There are several comparisons for people to understand the meaning of power savings by a computer, an easy reference is that the annual power consumption of a PC creates pollution which is the equivalent of about a 900 miles ride with a family car.
  • PCs last more: Powering off the PCS extends their life time, decreases hardware faults and makes them less vulnerable to attacks. This means that the Cost of Ownership of a PC decreases. These are good news for any company. It was means less recycling and pollution of the environment.
  • Cooling: Powering off PCs not only has direct savings on electricity but it also has an indirect effect since powered off PCs do not produce heat and thus less cooling is needed in the areas that they are located.

It is well understood that the powering-off of the PCs in any organization results in significant power savings which translates to less expenditure for the companies and a positive impact on the environment and this leads to a greener world.

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