Verdiem, one of the better known developers of power management software that counts Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Microsoft among its close partners, has delivered an impressive upgrade to its Surveyor technology. According to the Seattle-based company, the focus was on providing IT managers with even more configuration flexibility than previously available. That's important, because one reason many PCs aren't managed from a power consumption standpoint today is because the policies get in the way of actual (a.k.a real-world) usage patterns.
So, version 5.0 of Surveyor includes a bunch of new features that are intended to make the software more customizable as well as capable of being more tightly integrated into existing management software. One example is Surveyor's enhanced support for Microsoft management technology, as well as a new function called Wake-on-Web that lets remote users wake up remote machines within the context (and confines) of corporate security policy.
Changes have also been made to Surveyor's reporting capabilities, which more closely monitor a company's power usage trends and use those real parameters to make management suggestions based on the systems' actual power state. This is different from other power utilities, which assume that a PC is on all the time and in use 70 percent of the time, according to Verdiem. Specific reports that can be pulled out of the software include:
- Information for every client PC under management.
- Exceptions that flag systems that may not have complied with a corporate policy, such as a scheduled shut-down.
- General operations trends.
- Periods of peak or off-peak power consumption.
Brian Oehling, senior sales engineer for Verdiem, says many companies still condone a policy of leaving PCs in the On state pretty much all the time. Simply by moving to shut them down over night, or when usage is typically less, Surveyor 5.0 can help a company realize power savings of $80 to $90 per PC depending on where it is located and the local utility charges. A more typical average would be $60 per PC per year, when you consider that the average desktop uses about 588 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.
Pricing for Surveyor depends on the volume of licenses being purchased, but Oehling says it starts at around $25 per PC. Verdiem currently focuses only on Windows, but Macintosh and Linux support are part of its future development roadmap.