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For IT, proper energy management has more benefits than just saving power

In the third installment of my Spiceworks Data Commentary series, I add some color and advice to Spicework’s recent post on how much energy the Spiceworks community is estimated to have saved by using an Intel Power Management plugin.

They put together a nice infographic going over the savings:

In my piece, I gather up several anecdotes of hunting down energy waste in data centers and then give tips on implementing a power saving program in IT, including an eye towards some side-benefits. Check it out, and tell me how energy waste hunting has been going in your shop.

Save $200/year while sleeping

I also spoke with Ernest Mueller (he of dev/ops in action fame) about power management. He told me a nice anecdote about one co-worker tweaking their desktop’s sleep mode to really hunt down waste:

Since this is Green Week, actually I was just reading an internal newsletter article from someone who disabled NightWatchman but took it on himself to use a Kill-A-Watt meter to measure power usage and experiment with setting various sleep modes himself, and estimates a $200/year power cost savings using his settings.

Which reminded me of this GreenMonk interview Tom did around 1E’s NightWatchman:

Disclosure: Spiceworks is a client. Sentilla, who’s quoted in the Spiceworks piece is a client as well.

Categories: Systems Management.

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  1. I think this is a great example of bundling in more value into a framework. The world's full of handy little utilities like this that you have to be pretty motivated to go seek out, but if they can be provided as part of an existing management infrastructure then it's a lot easier to uptake. Too many suppliers take a dim view of incorporating anything they didn't build themselves. A great idea!

    My one caveat about power management plugins in general is how sketchy the wakeup is (seems to be a problem across the board). In some cases, remote wakeup just doesn't work. Now, that's OK for many use cases, but here it was important that engineers (and especially operations folks!) never run afoul of that, so IT rolled out Nightwatchman to all systems but let you easily opt out if you wanted to. That gets a much higher compliance rate than an opt-in "think about installing this" email but accommodates those who legitimately can't do it. Trying to make green an all-or-nothing often backfires; leaving a release valve allows for partial success.

    Also, sleep mode hoses up some software products pretty reliably; I'd like to see more software providers testing their software under sleep modes so that power management schemes are more attractive overall.

    ernestmApril 20, 2011 @ 3:42 pm