Have a look at Windows Server 2008 R2 default Power plan


My basement allows me to run a mini digital plant at home. (Smile).

Even if electrical power is pretty cheap in Quebec province (thanks to hydraulic electrical plants), you may want to have a look at the power plan your servers currently run: it may either over consuming power for nothing, or have not enough power to deliver…

That’s extreme ends, but you may want to have a look. To do that run: 

gwmi win32_powerplan -namespace root\cimv2\power | ft -Property ElementName, IsActive -Autosize


You will see the default power plan for a Windows Server 2008 R2 is: “Balanced”

What does it mean?

It means you don’t get by default all the Computing power you can expect from your Windows Server ….


That may be a problem if you hit performances degradations, or expect more from your computing pools. The most tangible impact would be on both Hyper-V servers and SQL Servers you have (for your SharePoint farms in our case).

On the other hand, you can change it dynamically with a (Remote?) PowerShell command.

You can even orchestrate this setting with System Center 2012 (I’ll cover that in future posts), monitoring the CPU and disk demand (with SC OM), to trigger a power plan change (with Orchestrator)

To change the Power Plan to High Performance (or any other one available), you may use these 2 commands:

$HighPerfPowerPlan = gwmi win32_powerplan -namespace root\cimv2\power -computername localhost -filter “elementname=’High performance'” ;


And here you go …. The gain can be between 10 and 25% in performances (for High Performance, especially if this machine is a SQL Server physical box).

Note the -ComputerName parameter, and have a look at Get-WmiObject cmdlet…. You’ll see you can easily apply this to a bunch of servers with one command line (or ps1 script).


Or through GPOs: I just realized Microsoft uses this internally to enforce a Power Plan on corporate Laptops and workstations. Funny isn’t it?



 Inspired from these 2 sources:

Comments (2)

  1. Peter says:

    Interesting, however Microsoft says the following in your latest reference:

    "High Performance: Increases performance at the cost of high energy consumption. Should not be used unless absolutely necessary" …

  2. Hi Peter,

    That's a way to be green. You probably want to schedule power plans changes depending on the workloads you need to deliver. On the other hand, not getting the compute resources your servers can deliver can also be a big waste, of time, energy and asset: Would it make sense to use 2 servers in Balanced power plan, when 1 of them in High performance can deliver the needed compute resources?

    That's a trade off up to the compute resources admin.

    Thanks for your comment.