eiPower verses Windows Power Management

A common question that gets asked is why do you need a power management solution when modern operating systems have power management functionality builtin.

While these inbuilt Power Management facilities works well for a small number of computers they become difficult to use in larger organisations. eiPower does not replace the Window’s Power Management functionlity but instead adds an additional layer of functionality that helps IT Administrators implement power management without disrupting the end user or preventing normal IT operations.

The following are a few reasons why a power management product such as eiPower Saver Solution can be useful :

1. Ability to quantify savings.
One of the biggest advantages to using an energy savings product such as eiPower is the ability to measure energy usage, cost and CO2 emission before and after power savings initiatives have been implemented. From this data total savings can be calculated and the success of the energy savings project can be determined. Additionally this data is necessary to qualify for most of the energy savings rebates being offered by utilities.

2. Loss of ability to do scheduled afterhours maintenance tasks.
When computers are simply allowed to go into Standby or Hibernate when they become idle (e.g. when users go home at night) using the Windows’s power settings it is difficult to perform scheduled after hours maintenance activities such as patching, virus scanning, defrag and backup. Now days applying patches is a critically important IT activity and if not done after hours needs to be done during working hours which can disrupt the user.

eiPower can wake computers at the schedule maintenance time, then ensure that the computer remains powered on during the entire maintenance period and will then place the computer back into standby/hibernate/power off after the maintenance period is finished. Because eiPower is built on the Symantec Management Platform it integrates with other End Point Management solutions such as Patch Management and Software Delviery to ensure that computers are woken up at the correct time to ensure that Patches and Software can be devliered.

Once eiPower saver solution is installed it is recommended that Administrators discourage end users from turning off their computers at the end of each day. Powering off a computer prevents it from being able to wake to perform scheduled maintenance activities. Instead users are encouraged to place the computer into Standby or Hibernate at the end of the day if they wish to (of course if they don’t eiPower will do it)

3. Disruption to the user during working hours.
There are many situations where it can be disruptive to end users to put their monitor or computer into standby during business hours. For example, computers being used for Point of Sale (POS) devices or presentation devices generally should not be placed into standby during the day however they can be placed into standby during the night and weekends.

eiPower is able to target different groups of computers with separate power policies and each policies can be configured to set different power schemes during different times of the day and week.

For example using eiPower a policy can be created that targets only POS devices and sets the computer’s power scheme so that the computer will not go into standby from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday, while at all other times the power scheme will be set so that the computer will go into standby after say 30 minutes of inactivity.

4. Some Applications don’t play well with Standby/Hibernate
Some applications deliberately prevent computers from going into standby while others do not like being placed into standby at all. While generally applications that prevent Windows from putting the computer into standby have a good reason for doing this some can prevent computers from ever going into standby and result in a lot of wasted energy unnecessarily. Also some applications that do not prevent the computer going into standby, should do so because they sometimes generate errors once they have returned from standby (e.g. MS Access can lose access to data files located on network drives)

eiPower will detect when a computer has not gone into standby at the expected time because there is an application preventing Window’s from placing the computer into standby. eiPower can then force the computer into standby if required. Additionally the administrator is able to set exclusions for certain applications such that when any of these applications are running the computer does not get put into Standby/Hibernate.