Following on from Ron’s post on “green” data-centres, I thought I would share some thoughts from a desktop point of view. As the price of energy consumption rises, many organisations I have visited are considering new ways of working and managing user devices. Check out the Carbon Trust website, it makes interesting reading.
One popular question is “Should desktop machines be powered off automatically outside of normal working hours?”. I’ve spoken to a number of customers who believe that most of their users leave their desktop machines powered on overnight and at weekends. One approach to combat this is to publish guidelines and codes of practice for the user population. Another more direct approach is to use a management tool to ensure that desktops are shutdown when they are not needed.
So how can ZENworks help? ZENworks can be used to automatically power-off managed devices using scheduled actions and/or NAL applications that run utilities such as shutdown.exe. The Wake On LAN technology shipped with ZENworks allows groups of machines to be remotely powered on for lights-out distributions. I frequently see customers using this functionality to update devices in bulk during the course of a weekend.
Automatically powering off devices needs to managed very carefully though. Hell hath no fury like a user that has lost his or her data, even if they neglected to hit the save button.
What are your thoughts on desktop energy consumption? Are you using ZENworks today to help manage this more effectively?