Power management is often described as a low-hanging fruit in establishing a green IT strategy. It seems dead simple: set your desktop and PCs to sleep or power-down after X-number of minutes and bask in lower energy bills. But tell me if this scenario doesn’t sound familiar…
You’re working late and need some coffee to stave off a TPS report-induced coma, so you make your way to the break area. A stroll through your nearly-empty office is a light show of screensavers and monitors stuck on the last websites your coworkers visited (nothing NSFW, I hope!). It’s decidedly wasteful and unfortunately also very prevalent; just look out the windows of an office tower at night into a neighboring building to see what I mean.
Luckily, it’s also something that can be remedied with a nudge from management and some legwork from IT departments. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ VP of Technology, Vineet Gupta, gets it and his efforts to reduce energy consumption at the hotel chain is a promising start:
A key part of the initiative, which is scheduled to roll out this year and be fully implemented across all properties by the end of 2009, is a centrally managed power-down schedule that automatically shuts down all internal desktops and laptops after one hour of activity.
Fairmont estimates the power management will reduce energy consumption by 2,692,683 KwH and save 1,356 tonnes of CO2 annually.
He doesn’t trivialize the challenge that it poses to IT departments, saying that it “requires a lot of effort.” It also requires some “buy-in” from other sites, and in this case they’re sprinkled worldwide.
Nonetheless, the results speak for themselves. There’s no mention in the article of how they accomplished it technologically, but it’s safe to assume that they’re Windows workstations. In that case, there are plenty of centralized power management solutions with more sprouting up all the time, not to mention Group Policy options for admins versed in Active Directory.
Side note: Fairmont manages The Plaza in NYC (pictured above) among other swank resorts. Kudos Vineet!