Technology for reducing the energy consumption of computers running Windows Vista is hitting the market, with a product from power-management software vendor 1E that centralizes and automates the PC shutdown process.
The fifth version of 1E's NightWatchman adds support for Vista and enhances reporting tools to give network administrators greater visibility into power consumption and energy savings. Previously, NightWatchman supported Windows XP and Windows 2000, but not Vista.
On average, NightWatchman saves US$50 per PC, per year in energy costs, according to London-based 1E. Just shutting every computer off each night can save a 10,000-PC enterprise more than US$165,000 per year, the company says. An organization of the same size can also prevent 1,381 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year with NightWatchman, according to 1E.
Research conducted by 1E suggests as many as 60% of US workers who regularly use PCs don't shut them down at the end of the day.
"There are a lot of data center initiatives today, but the simple fact is there are a lot more PCs than there are servers," says Sumir Karayi, 1E's chief executive. "If you actually start switching off PCs, . . . the [energy and monetary] savings are really quite large."
NightWatchman software is installed on each client and lets administrators control remotely the power state of any PC on a network. By issuing commands, the administrator can schedule or request shutdowns, and determine the actions taken to log off a user.
NightWatchman saves user data, closes applications safely and shuts PCs down to any state desired. It's one of many power management tools IT executives can choose from these days, as increasing energy prices and global warming place a greater focus on power consumption.
Verdiem is another vendor selling PC power-management tools that have been updated to support Windows Vista. There are free tools available as well, such as Energy Star's EZ GPO software, which works with Windows 2000 or XP.
1E claims that for most users, NightWatchman will pay for itself in less than three months. A Techworld report in June said NightWatchman costs about US$25 per seat for 500 users, but a company spokeswoman said 1E is revamping its pricing model.
NightWatchman can be purchased by itself or with additional 1E products that automatically turn computers on for software and patch updates.
1E says its customers include Allstate Insurance, British Airways, Microsoft, Nestle and the U.S. Air Force.