Did you know that analysts are seeing that the combined cost of power and cooling in the Data Center is 10% of IT budgets today and expected to rise to about 50% in the next couple of years?

Recently, there's been a flurry of activities around Being Green and all the related issues around the world.

We are starting to see states in the US such as California considering legislation to force companies with large Data Center to consume less energy by providing both a Carrot and the Stick: If you deploy technologies such as Hypervisor and Virtual Machine technologies in general, you'll get a discount and if you consume more that a certain amount of power you'll pay more.....

Obviously, computers (OS's, hardware, clients and servers) are part of the problem and should be part of the solution.

You see companies such as Intel and AMD focusing on reducing their energy consumption and cooling "foot print", Hewlett-Packard and IBM focusing on providing solutions for controlling the energy consumption in the Data Center. Recently, here in the US AMD and other companies (including Microsoft) with like priorities created the "Green Grid" organization http://www.thegreengrid.org/home.

As a company we (Microsoft) need to ensure that our platform is the best "Green" citizen for a Power Management perspective. indeed, this is a priority for Windows Server moving forward. But it's not just in the future, we are taking steps now to address some of the issues and we'll continue down that path. This kind of functionality was first implemented in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

Both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 takes step to address the power consumption by implementing updated support for ACPI processor power management (PPM) features, including support for processor performance states and processor idle sleep states on multiprocessor systems. This paper provides details of the support in Windows Vista, describes how PPM works with Windows Vista power policy, provides guidelines to BIOS developers and system designers, and includes details on how Windows Vista may be tuned to optimize the balance between performance and power savings.

There's a white paper available on our web site that discusses Windows (Vista) Processor Power Management Functional Overview. This white paper describes the following:

  • Processor Power Policy
  • Implementing Processor Power Management for Windows (Vista)
  • Processor Power Management Validation Tools
  • Optimizing Processor Power Policy on Windows


It's important to realize that this functionality applies equally to both Windows Vista as well as Windows Server 2008, and can be used to reduce the power consumption of the OS, whether on a laptop in an office or on a server in a rack in the data center.

Moving forward we need to address the policy aspect of power management (making sure servers go to sleep and wakes at the right time) as well as providing tools that allow our customers to better budget their power consumption in the offices as well as in the data center. this is both an OS as well as a management tools functionality. We also need to ensure that the industry agrees on how this is implemented in various OS's, management tools, rack system, servers, UPS's, etc.

In other words, we've only just begun.