Energy-Saving Policies at the Desktop and Server Room

By Scott P. Stephan  |  Posted 2010-01-25 Print this article Print

Phase No. 2: Energy-saving policies at the desktop and server room

When looking at energy-saving policies, there are two strategic areas that need to be engaged: the front-end (desktop solutions) and the back-end (the server room). Studies have been conducted which show that 55 percent of energy consumption related to IT exists outside of the data center, leaving the remaining 45 percent of IT-based energy consumption to the data center. That is why a comprehensive solution that targets both will yield a positive savings.

The solutions to be implemented at the desktop include remote or timer-controlled power strips, proximity-based hardware, and Microsoft Group Policies. Replacing older power strips with newer ones add the necessary functionality that prevents power drains and phantom electricity. These hardware-based devices can not only be remote or timer-controlled to shut down multiple peripherals at a time, but also can sense an individual's proximity to the equipment and know whether or not it is necessary to have it on.

Finally, by applying enterprise-wide group policies, any PC that has been left idle can automatically be put into a low energy state to conserve energy consumption at the desktop. This is centrally controlled by the server but can have a positive effect on energy consumption throughout the entire organization.

The remaining 45 percent of IT energy consumption can be reduced in the server room with virtualization technology and the use of co-located facilities. Virtualization turns multiple servers into a single server, reducing power consumption, depreciation costs and unused space. By moving the servers out of the office altogether and into a co-located facility or data center, all the power consumption is offloaded-while simultaneously offering greater security and scalability that is transparent to the user. The implementation of virtualization and co-location plans in the server room reduces underutilized servers and provides greater energy efficiency, reliability and security.

Scott P. Stephan is Vice President of ANALYSYS. Scott is responsible for vision and oversight of the company's technical services and operations. Scott has more than 10 years in IT-related consulting and management expertise. Scott joined ANALYSYS as a Director of IT to an ANALYSYS client with over 500 employees and 17 offices. Prior to ANALYSYS, Scott was responsible for new site expansions and infrastructure development at, a national provider of classroom-based IT training and certification. He can be reached at

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