The Microsoft Stack: Is Vista Power Management Ready for the Enterprise?
June 15, 2008 —
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One of the most common reasons given for why an organization should upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista is that Vista is more power efficient. Vista has features that can make it more power efficient, but what problems does it actually solve for those of us up to our elbows in wires?
How about the value proposition of “green” computing? Vista has improved power management built in, virtualization is helping reduce resource costs, and more companies are working to build out their green technology reputation every month it seems.
Almost anyone you ask will tell you that not only is this all good for the environment and corporate image, but it also just makes good business sense in most situations. The problem is that reality gets in the way and it usually isn’t as easy as it sounds to do it for real.
In my travels as a consultant, I have seen many organizations run into troubles in the data center because of power, and almost never at the client workstation. In the data center, we will sometimes see this trouble in the form of an overloaded circuit due to the inattention of the network staff. More often, it is that systems have grown beyond the ability for the physical infrastructure to support them in terms of power allocation. I have seen data centers in some of the largest cities, like London and New York, where it is not possible, due to regulations, to add more power.
With systems such as storage growing faster year after year, and storage consuming more power per unit of rack space than pretty much anything else in the data center, this can mean you end up saying “no” to things that are needed for the business. We all know that’s never a good situation. Maybe a push for green technology will solve this problem?
So with that being said, we have all the more reason to look at how we can conserve power. Why not make Vista part of that solution? The problem, if we can temporarily put aside the whole global warming, good citizen of the world, save the planet thing, is that the job of IT is to make sure things work. If there is time and it makes sense, then you can worry about it working with less energy or for less money. Good managers, administrators and pretty much everyone else have realized that the job is to get the job done. If you plan to be successful, you concentrate on the mission, and if you want to hedge against failure, then you can look to be cheap.
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