PC power tweaks can save a bundle

Managing an organization's PC power consumptionis likely to save $43,300 per year, according to Gartner calculations

Saving money using power management has been a well-worn mantra in the datacenter for some time, but now Gartner has put a cash figure on the likely cost savings from managing an organization's PC power consumption: $43,300 per year.

The analyst company said that the total power consumption per year for a "well-managed 2,500-PC organization is 43 percent lower than an unmanaged one." This, Gartner has calculated, means that organisations actively employing power management functionality can expect to save $43,300 annually, compared with an unmanaged 2,500-PC organization.

[ Read up on how to benchmark datacenter energy costs | Keep up on green IT trends with InfoWorld's Sustainable IT blog and Green Tech newsletter. ]

Another $6,500 can be saved per annum by turning off and unplugging machines from the electrical socket (even when switched off, PCs consume some power when left plugged in). However Gartner warns this could affect staff productivity because updates will need to be carried out during working hours, and it is somewhat impractical to do this in reality.

"Much attention on power consumption has focused on the datacenter, but PC power consumption in an organization can also be significant, especially given steadily rising electricity prices," said Federica Troni, principal analyst at Gartner.

"IT organizations should recognize that the greatest savings come from employing power management features. They should investigate the power management capabilities of their PC lifecycle management tools and PC power management point solutions to implement these policies and to better support management activities."

Gartner has even created a model -- actually, an Excel spreadsheet -- to assess the impact of different variables on an organization's total PC power use, although this model is only available to Gartner's customer base and not the general public. The model makes use of a number of common assumptions in order to make these calculations.

These assumptions include that there are 2,500 staff in the organization; the ratio of PCs to employees is 1-to-1; staff work an eight-hour business day 230 days per year; and active use of the PC during working hours is 70 percent of the time. The power calculation assumes a cost of 10 cents for one kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Using these parameters, Gartner's model can calculate the power consumption for desktops, notebooks, and associated monitors during the workday and after hours. The model is based on three different scenarios -- the well-managed, unmanaged, and unplugged organization.

Techworld is an InfoWorld affiliate.

This story, "PC power tweaks can save a bundle" was originally published by Techworld.com.

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