Study: Power Management Adoption Extends to PCs

by | Apr 14, 2009

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energyoptimizerA new report on power management adoption indicates that more businesses are interested in PC power management software due to the recession, reported eWeek.

Companies that have been making sustainability investments appear to focus on improvements in data centers. However, this latest study from Forrester Research indicates that companies are moving towards green PCs.

A key finding of the report shows that businesses are looking more closely at software solutions that help make PCs run more cost-effectively and with more energy efficiency, cited eWeek. However, the reality is that more than half of businesses that have implemented green PC programs rely primarily on users agreeing to power down their machines or activate power management settings.

Doug Washburn, the lead analyst on the report, told eWeek that there is more interest in using IT to help reduce facility costs due to the recession. He also said that IT departments need to work with facilities groups to help solve the issue of PC power management and let company executives know how software solutions can help save money.

eWeek revealed several key highlights from the report. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said their top plan was asking employees to turn their computers down or off when they’re not being used, and 24 percent said they preactivated power management settings on their systems. In addition, thirteen percent of respondents said they had a widely scaled PC power management plan in place; 30 percent either had one in place that needed to scale or had a pilot program under way, while nearly 50 percent said they had no plan in place, but were considering it.

The survey also indicated that seven percent of respondents already are using software to enable PC power management policies; 20 percent said they are evaluating products, and thirty-seven percent said they have no interest currently, but would consider it, according to eWeek.

To address the need to improve energy efficiency throughout all areas of data center systems, companies are developing power monitoring systems to help IT managers cut power usage and improve efficiency.

As an example, Arch Rock Corp. has introduced a wireless energy monitoring system that gives facility managers detailed real-time visibility into electric power consumption.

The Energy Optimizer system tool is delivered as a web portal, which means it doesn’t require software installation by the customer and has a near-zero impact on a customer’s IT resources.

Available on May 1, the real-time networked sub-metering tool provides detailed data — pinpointing exactly where energy is consumed — to help facilities managers cut power expenses, boost efficiency and avoid penalties, according to the San Francisco, Calif.-based company.

The Energy Optimizer’s Energy Visibility Portal features a dashboard, multi-window display that  provides energy-use summaries and data breakdowns detailed to the level of individual rooms, data center racks, lab or office spaces, large HVAC-related motor circuits (e.g., chillers, pumps, boilers) or lighting segments.

The tool monitors a host of usage patterns including monthly spending by user-designated physical area such as a data center, electricity distribution breakdown by utility-provided AC power, and a site activity log of spending per kilowatt of power used on a given day.

In addition, the Energy Optimizer’s monitoring of electric power usage can be combined with sensing of other indoor and outdoor environmental conditions such as temperature, light, humidity and carbon dioxide levels, by using additional sensors within the PhyNet wireless sensor network architecture.

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