Monday, 21 May 2012

Preparing your organisation for IT power management

A guest post from Barclay Bicksler, Senior Manager of Customer Success at Verdiem .

When organisations start thinking about introducing power management into their IT environment, they tend to focus on how they will put systems into a lower power state (sleep). But how and when to wake systems is just as important.
That’s why it’s worth taking time to consider the entire power management life cycle - when to put the systems to sleep, how and when to wake them up, what systems to measure and manage and what level of involvement users have in the power management process.

In a properly deployed power management solution, the impact to end users should be minimal, but it’s important for organisations to think about work and usage patterns, how their users interact with their computers and how needs may differ across the business.
It’s also important to set proper goals and expectations. What will project success look like? What systems need to be measured and managed? Are there any systems or processes that should be excluded from the power management process?

Key power management implementation considerations
Before starting a power management project, organisations need to consider what low power state will work best for them and which waking approach they will use. At Verdiem, we strongly recommend implementing Sleep as the primary low power state for computers.

Assuming that Sleep is the preferred low power state, there are two main ways to wake a system: by a scheduled event at the operating system level, or by Wake on LAN. Wake on LAN technology is a network-friendly approach that does not require any configuration by the IT department. It is also implemented without requiring any ports to be enabled – avoiding potential security risks.

Two common wake-related questions that you may want to consider are ‘How do you want to handle systems when users arrive in the morning?’ and ‘Do you need your systems to wake at times for IT purposes?’
In answer to the morning question, the most energy-efficient way to implement a low power state is to keep the computer in that state until the user wakes it up with a keyboard or mouse click. The other option is to wake the systems prior to users arriving. The key decision factor here is what level of user involvement you want in the power management process.

With regard to waking systems for routine maintenance, most IT updates and processes – such as software updates, virus scans or disk defragmentation - are scheduled to run in the middle of the night. With power management, the systems that used to be kept on 24x7 now only need to be awakened for these maintenance windows. Some power management solutions support the inclusion of maintenance windows in its policies. So, in your preparations for power management, make sure IT has the opportunity to map out the times they need the systems to be awake.

With proper preparation and planning, your power management solution can be fast, user friendly and benefit all levels of your organisation, from the energy and cost savings, to increased IT efficiency.

© The Green IT Review

1 comment:

  1. Yes – agreed. People tend to focus on switching PCs off, when thinking about PC power management, but waking them up is just as important. WakeUp enables organizations to greatly increase the efficiency of routine IT maintenance and software distribution (often out of hours when energy tariffs are cheaper, therefore saving energy costs), while maintaining the health and availability of PCs. Have a look at how leading South African short-term insurer OUTsurance did it - http://www.1e.com/mediacenter/outsurance-selects-nightwatchman-enterprise-to-improve-patch-management-with-wake-on-lan-and-power-manage-its-2000-pcs/

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