BigFix, a security configuration management provider, is offering a new power management product that the company said can save enterprises between $10 and $50 per computer in energy costs.
The Emeryville, Calif., company announced its latest application, BigFix Power Management, on Nov. 7.
The new application works with BigFix Enterprise Suite, which manages an enterprises IT security as well as desktop and server administrative tools.
With the its power management solution, IT administrators can monitor a companys entire network, pinpoint power usage among the companys PC users and set policies for when desktops can either power down or hibernate, said David Applebaum, vice president of marketing for BigFix.
BigFix is hoping that the new application will appeal to companies looking to save on energy costs or have begun to look at so-called green policies for their IT environment.
Many companies have focused their green policies in the data center, where hardware, such as servers, have steadily increased a companys electric bill while contributing to concerns about global warming.
Michael Bell, an analyst with the Gartner research firm, said vendors have been looking for ways to cool the data center and eliminate energy costs for users.
While he has not heard much talk about ways to conserve energy through PCs, he is not surprised that some companies, like BigFix, are trying.
"It makes sense, particularly if you offer the right incentives," Bell said.
Citing a U.S. Department of Labor study that showed the average PC in an enterprise wastes about 400 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, Applebaum said IT managers can use the power management application to turn off desktops that are typically left on when not in use by employees.
"When you have a large enterprise there is a lack of ability to understand what machines are being used and where they all are," said Greg Toto, vice president of product management for BigFix.
In addition, a companys employees either leave their PCs on or are told not to turn the computers off at night since the IT department might have to add a patch or perform routine maintenance.
The BigFix power management application lets the IT administrator set a policy for when the PCs shut off or power down.
The application also lets managers distribute wake-on LAN support to allow maintenance, security upgrades and patches during off-hours without manual intervention.
Applebaum said the BigFix power management tool can save companies money by giving IT managers a central location to control both desktops and monitors used in a company.
The company plans to start coupling the power manager with its desktop management suite, which costs about $30 per desk, and its security management suite, which costs about $40 per desk.