Hi everyone, we continue our series today with some implementation coverage of the Power Management features in R3.

Monitor Current Power Usage and Settings  - Successful implementation of a client power management plan ideally requires multiple phases. During the first phase, existing power usage, system power settings, and CO2 emissions are measured to create a baseline. This information is obtained from deployed Configuration Manager Clients that have Power Management enabled and that gather the information and store it within the central Configuration Manager database and reporting warehouse. For example, activity levels across machines are measured throughout peak and non-peak periods, and can be graphed with out-of-the-box charts such as the one in Figure 1clip_image002


Figure 1: Reporting on Power Usage During Peak and Non-Peak Times

Creating a baseline analysis of current power management settings can also help to determine if there will be any negative impact from implementing power management settings. For example, some organizations, intent on initiating a policy to shut down monitors after 15 minutes of non-use, may find that the majority of their user population has their systems set to shut down after five minutes. In this example, implementation of the new policy would result in an increase in power consumption. Gaining the knowledge of current settings and configuration is subsequently critical for understanding the impact of changes.

The baseline generated can be used to make intelligent decisions about when to implement policies, what periods of time are considered peak and non-peak, and what hardware is not compliant with specific power policies. The initial baseline power and CO2 emissions reports can also be used to demonstrate the eventual power and carbon footprint reductions achieved by the power management initiative. This creates hard data that illustrates the total cost savings achieved and generates evidence that can be used to illustrate the direct cost savings aspects of power management.

Analyze Power Trends and Define Policies  -  After the initial phase of analyzing current settings and power usage, the information gathered can be used to make decisions on what policies will be enacted. During this phase, key decisions as to the number of policies, exceptions, hours of enforcement, and individual power settings for each policy can be made.

Configuration Manager 2007 R3 ships with sets of averages for various hardware types and software versions, and common power configurations so organizations can compare existing power consumption against expected policy and eventual power savings. This information can be used to create a much more tailored power management policy than could be made if settings were enacted without this knowledge

Apply and Enforce Policies  - The implementation phase of a power management policy process involves putting the newly created power policies in place. Policies can be tested as part of an initial pilot and deployed at a speed comfortable to the organization. Once a successful pilot has been implemented, the policies can be deployed to the remaining workstations.

Policies can be enforced so that no changes can be made, or they can be set to allow for individual overrides. This can all be done on a per-policy basis, so full flexibility, opt-out capability, and risk mitigation can be achieved.

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Check Compliance and Report Power and CO2 Emission Savings -  Once policies are in place, Configuration Manager 2007 R3 will continue to track power consumption and settings on all managed clients. This information can be stored for years in the data warehouse, giving a long-term look at power reductions and CO2 emission savings, such as those illustrated in the chart in Figure 2. The environmental impact reports can be easily customized to reflect the specific CO2 rating that is applied to a particular geographical area

Post implementation reports can subsequently be used as direct evidence of cost savings, as the power figures can be turned into dollar amounts. In addition, the effects of any modifications or fine-tuning of policies can be identified with the historical graphs.

Figure 2: CO2 Emission Savings Report from Configuration Manager 2007 R3

Some resources for you:

  • Configuration Manager 2007 R3 RC Update now available here
  • Power Management, what do you get with Configuration Manager 2007 and R3? Read more here
  • Windows 7 Power Management Overview.  Read more here
  • System Center Configuration Manager evaluation and beta programs are here
  • What version of Configuration Manager do I need, and in what order? Find out more here
  • Update to ConfigMgr 2007 R3 Power Management Reports – demo here

me15Jeff Wettlaufer
Sr Technical Product Manager
System Center, Management and Security Division
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