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Distributed operations? You can still centralize power management

I've included many, many items here about businesses that have saved millions on their power bills simply by buying some sort of power management software. Too expensive, you declare?
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

I've included many, many items here about businesses that have saved millions on their power bills simply by buying some sort of power management software. Too expensive, you declare? Your organization is too distributed? Well, you might consider the case of the San Joaquin Valley Library System, which has been using a power management application from Autonomic Software for the past six months with very little (actually no) upfront investment.

The library system spans more than 110 locations across seven counties and 10 districts in California, which has made managing systems in each place a challenge, says David Rodriguez, senior systems network support engineer for the library system. In all, there are about 2,000 client devices riding on the library's network.

Rodriguez says the district looked to Autonomic Software as a strategy for saving power and cutting its utility costs. Although he won't quantify how much because he hasn't figure it out yet, Rodriguez believes the amount is considerable, something like $40 per PC. Autonomic actually estimates the savings for the library over the next three years at $450,000. And here's the best part: the library system didn't pay a dime for the software.

That's because Autonomic's technology is one of the applications approved for a rebate from Pacific, Gas & Electric, the local power utility. Rodriguez says San Joaquin simply worked with Autonomic to assign the rebates directly to the software company as the project was rolled out; Autonomic also helped out with the server hardware needed to run the software. A side benefit, Rodriquez notes, is that he can now manage system problems or configurations over the network with the software. So there isn't just a green play, there's a remote network management play.

To me, that's one of the things that people keep missing about the whole power management category. I personally think it's simply part and parcel of the managed services necessary to keep IT infrastructure up and running smoothly. The green benefits are almost secondary.

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