Here’s your challenge for the day, Mr or Ms IT professional: you say you’re serious about wanting to run your technology infrastructure in a more environmentally responsible way. So what about all those PCs that sit around under- or un-used, chugging away all that juice?
According to research from the US Environmental Protection Agency only 36% of American office workstations get shut down at night, and some 58% of them are inactive at least part of the nine-to-five workday.
Of course it’s actually not that good to keep rebooting – it takes time, can annoy users, and the disk needs to get power to spin, etc. A Windows environment management specialist, ScriptLogic, has what it thinks is a solution in the form of built-in power management software in the latest (version 7.0) release of its Desktop Authority suite that monitors the computer and will put it into energy-saving hibernation or standby mode if the machine hasn’t been used in a while.
The point is also that energy saving modes come standard on most computers - but they just don’t get turned on or managed effectively, especially in a business environment.
“You’re looking at a huge difference in energy and so cost if power management is centrally set up and managed,” claims Nick Cavalancia, vice president of marketing at the firm. The firm’s research suggests a typical business Dell PC uses over 120 watts per hour when fully turned on, a minimum of 65 watts when idle and 2 when in sleep or shut down. The company cites a number of US case studies where substantial energy bill reductions have been achieved by better co-ordination and settings of power usage.
Cavalancia stresses that customers aren’t so much interested yet in the ‘green’ aspect as the bottom line savings. “They’re being selfish if you like from that point of view, but there’s also growing interest in the environmental aspect. It’s like the hybrid car; customers won’t buy it until they see real pocket-book impact, not just because it’s more ethical.”
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