Saving money by effective power management

One of the hidden costs of ICT in education is the power usage of the equipment you’ve got around your campus. I call it hidden because it is often not visible to the IT team, and the full energy costs of all of your servers and computers are simply part of the university's overall electric bill.

As we release new products, we are doing more and more to help you manage and reduce power consumption. For example, both Windows Vista and Windows 7 reduced the power usage of a typical PC configuration, by reducing the power it uses when in use, as well as better management and use of low-power states such as Sleep and Hibernate.

On the network management side, we’re making a lot of changes to System Center Configuration Manager, with Release 3 (R3) due this year – this now has power management built within it to help monitor and manage all of your networked PCs.

For a typical campus, the potential savings annually run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, so it is definitely worth looking at how you can more effectively manage your power usage. Conserving power at the desktop level translates not only into potential cost savings through power consumption reduction it also has the added benefit of helping to reduce your university's overall carbon footprint.

Power Management in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3

While energy-saving desktops and laptops have been available for some time, many organisations are not getting the most cost and energy saving benefits from these devices because power-saving settings are often disabled out of fears of data corruption, to support overnight IT operations, or simply from force of habit.

imageClient power management with System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3 helps you get manage the energy consumption of your hardware by providing a set of power management tools to enable centralised client power management. If you’re using Windows 7 , it allows you to easily optimise power settings on a granular level, and if you’re using earlier versions of Windows, it takes full advantage of the power management capabilities available in them.

Configuration Manager 2007 R3 tools allow you to:

  • Monitor current power state and consumptions

  • Plan and create a power management policy and check for exceptions

  • Apply power management policy to enforce different power settings for peak and non-peak periods

  • Check compliance and remediate non-compliance

  • Reduce energy costs associated with power and reduces CO2 emissions

  • Report savings in power consumption and costs


Client power management with Configuration Manager 2007 R3 can yield you potential cost savings with minimal effort and expense.

Where to find out more about System Center Configuration Manager

There are three levels of further detailed information:

  1. For an overview of System Center, take a look at the System Center website

  2. For the Configuration Manager specifically, take a look at the System Center Configuration Manager section

  3. There’s more detailed specifics still in the Power Management Datasheet

  4. And more detailed still, there’s a quick demo the power management capabilities, on the System Center blog

  5. Read all the above, and want to play with it yourself? Well, you could always download the free System Center Configuration Manager beta and try it on a test server.
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