System Center Update Promises Energy Savings

As the summer heats up, and icebergs melt, maybe it's time for system admins using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to consider adding a little eco-friendliness to their networks.

To that end, Microsoft last week released a new Desired Configuration Management (DCM) pack for Configuration Manager 2007 that now meets Energy Star guidelines.

DCM is used to ensure optimal configurations for managing overall network performance and security. This update to DCM applies to networks that use Microsoft Windows Vista- and XP-based computers.

The U.S. government's Energy Star initiative typically addresses power usage by businesses generally, and hardware manufacturers specifically. For the software industry, Energy Star describes goals for display power use and computer system hibernation settings.

The Energy Star program recommends that computers go into hibernation after 30 minutes to 60 minutes of nonuse. Monitors should enter sleep mode after five minutes to 20 minutes without activity.

Energy Star compliance adds to Microsoft's green computing efforts, which also includes participation in the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. That initiative aims to reduce overall carbon emissions through energy-saving technologies.

While every little bit helps, the IT industry doesn't appear to be the worst culprit in churning out greenhouse gasses (GHGs), according to "Leveraging IT in Building Green Businesses," an IDC Industry Insights paper.

"Energy Insights estimates the GHG emissions from IT only account for 3% of the energy related carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. commercial sector, or 0.6% of the total," the report states. "The other 97% is comprised of the following segments: transportation (33%), industrial, which is dominated by manufacturing (28%), and commercial and residential, which is primarily related to buildings (36%)."

System Center users can download the new Energy Star-compliant DCM for Configuration Manager 2007, or get more information, at the link here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.

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