Key Features that will help you save energy and improve your patching with PC Power Management
Cost and Energy Savings
By implementing NightWatchman PC Power Management, organisations can ensure that their PC estate is only consuming the most efficient amount of energy required. By matching every client to its own specific make and model energy consumption characteristics, NightWatchman reporting is able to accurately report the specific energy consumed and cost savings by the individual, business unit or the entire enterprise PC estate.
Enterprise Wake on Lan
NightWatchman delivers a highly scalable, enterprise ready Wake On LAN solution for out of hours systems management capabilities. Effective PC power management ensures machines are kept in a low power state when they are not being used and that all client systems remain manageable by providing the ability to wake targeted clients for maintenance windows or on demand without requiring any network router configuration.
NightWatchman monitors user activity to avoid power downs when users are busy. Users can also opt out of policies temporarily and open documents are automatically saved.
NightWatchman provides data on when your computers are actually rebooting, how long this is after updates became applicable, and how quickly these reboots are happening.
NightWatchman identifies and reports on devices that are not being used in your organisation, allowing you to decommission and reallocate assets to save costs.
NightWatchman tells you when your batteries have been cycled too often or when they can no larger be charged to an acceptable capacity so that they can be replaced.
NightWatchman 7.1 also includes these features –
- Web WakeUp and Enterprise View are FIPS compliant
- Windows 10 compatibility
- Nomad precaching coordination enhancements
- Non-laptops are preferred over laptops when looking for an available primary agent
- Keep Active system tray icon shows all options
- WakeMachines Web WakeUp API corrected
- Web WakeUp status reporting improvements
- Macintosh clients use 7.x licenses
- Primary agent selection efficiency improvements
Improve your sustainability
Responsible companies run efficient and sustainable IT. NightWatchman leads to an immediate reduction in your carbon footprint. Accurate and easily comprehensible power reports enable your company to baseline its existing PC energy consumption to enable the identification and elimination of energy waste. NightWatchman subsequently allows you to optimise PC power policies centrally across the entire estate allowing you to see the savings obtained at a granular level over time.
Improve your workstation security
NightWatchman provides you with a secure, robust and seamless Wake on LAN facility (certified to Common Criteria (EAL2) & FIPS), without the need for additional servers. NightWatchman comes with the ability to manage the end to end power & patch management lifecycle – including waking up a PC, patching it and putting it back to desired low power mode at any point in time, ensuring that the PC estate is fully patched but additionally operating at a significantly reduced cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need NightWatchman if I have SCCM?
Microsoft and 1E together offer a best-of-breed PC power management solution. Microsoft‟s System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and NightWatchman gives organizations the tools they need to achieve power savings through better management of IT infrastructures. Using it, organizations can monitor machine usage, plan and create a power-management policy, apply power-management policies that enforce different power settings during peak and off-peak periods, create reports on power consumption and savings, and more.
NightWatchman extends the core PC power management capabilities offered by Microsoft‟s System Center Configuration Manager 2012, providing additional functionality to manage complex scenario’s across a typical enterprise network. 1E offers deep support for Windows 7, older operating systems and Macs; helps fix “sleepless” PCs; and includes outstanding wake-on-lan capabilities for patching purposes. Users can remotely wake up their work PCs for remote access as well as opt-out of power management during important tasks. NightWatchman also comes with a comprehensive PC make and model power database, senior-management dashboard and baseline energy management capabilities to help gain proven savings over time.
Together, System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and 1E NightWatchman give organizations a powerful way to manage today‟s power-intensive IT systems. They deliver three key tools that organizations need:
- Administrative flexibility, so that organizations can better manage a diverse IT environment.
- User empowerment, so that organizations can tailor power management without an adverse effect on employee productivity.
- Advanced reporting, to create a clear and highly accurate picture of cost savings and energy-use reductions.
With SCCM 2012 power management and 1E NightWatchman, organizations can develop power-management strategies that make sense.
Most organizations have an IT environment that consists of multiple operating systems. and have varying needs for patching and powering PCs on or off. System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and 1E NightWatchman offer organizations the flexibility needed to handle a complex IT infrastructure and make SCCM 2012 power management enterprise ready.
For instance, one barrier to effective power management has been the concern that data may be lost during forced shut-downs. To avoid this, power management with System Center Configuration Manager 2012 takes a conservative approach to enabling power savings with hibernate or sleep modes. Power policies can be created that save similar amounts of power, but do not completely shut systems off. Instead, they lower power consumption on components during idle periods and put systems into sleep modes. Configuration Manager 2012 provides the necessary engine to set and configure Windows power policies centrally on clients, ensuring that PCs go into a sleep mode after a period of inactivity.
However, some applications do not transition to sleep or hibernate very effectively. NightWatchman extends that capability to manage an organization‟s specific needs and provides additional power down functionality. Most enterprises require a range of power-management exceptions so that important processes are not disrupted. NightWatchman allows IT managers to set power-down rules so that PCs performing key tasks are exempted from scheduled sleep or hibernate periods. At the same time, rules can be set so that PCs not currently performing key tasks can be powered down.
To wake PC’s for patching purposes, SCCM 2012 provides wake from sleep timers using the operating system to wake machines at a pre-defined time. NightWatchman enhances this capability by providing SCCM 2012 wake on lan capabilities, either scheduled or on demand with no network modifications required. Machines woken with 1E WakeUP can be configured to go back to a lower power state as soon as maintenance is completed.
NightWatchman enhances the standard Windows power settings by repairing “sleepless” PCs, where rogue applications and drivers prevent PCs from sleeping when they should. Together with System Center, it can identify and repair sleepless PCs. System Center Configuration Manger 2012 and 1E NightWatchman together squeeze savings out of an organization‟s power-management scheme – including servers when used with NightWatchman Server Edition.
Empowering Users to Effectively Manage Power Needs
Another barrier to power management adoption has been a worry that remote users will not be able to access their office PCs. And there are concerns that forced “sleep” sessions could interrupt important tasks. Configuration Manager 2012 and 1E NightWatchman give IT managers the control they need to ensure that power management does not interfere with critical business needs.
Most organizations have at least some systems which fall into the exception category. In certain cases, there are systems that are required to be turned on and fully available at all hours. Other systems may not have necessary compliant hardware for power management.
Configuration Manager 2012 allows different departments or business units to have different policies, depending on their needs. In addition, two power management policies can be set for all clients: one for peak periods and one for non-peak periods. This allows for more aggressive power management policies to be enacted at night during non-peak periods, with more lax settings to be in place during the day.
NightWatchman adds to these capabilities so that employees can take further control of their power consumption. PC users performing critical tasks can choose to temporarily “opt out” of power management. In addition, 1E’s Web Wake Up – a part of NightWatchman – allows workers who are traveling or telecommuting to navigate to a secure Web page and turn on their office PCs when remote access is required. NightWatchman also checks PCs for applications that are in use and is designed to securely save data before rebooting for a patch application or other process.
Advanced Reporting Completes the Picture
One key aspect to a power-management solution is to offer concrete evidence of the possible savings. NightWatchman measures PC usage and uses ‘what-if’ analyses to predict the eventual power savings that could be achieved by putting PCs into a low power state when they are not being used. This information gains reliability by drawing upon make- and model-specific power consumption values and location-specific energy costs and carbon tariffs.
Moreover, once policies are in place, Configuration Manager 2012 and NightWatchman continue to track power consumption and settings on all managed clients. This information can be stored for years in the data warehouse, giving a long-term look at power reductions and CO2 emission savings. The Configuration Manager 2012 environmental impact report can be run across all systems or a collection of systems using a specific CO2 rating as an input parameter.
NightWatchman also provides a dashboard that shows high-level management information at a glance. It is customizable and can be tailored to individual organization and managers‟ needs.
What is 1E WakeUp and how does it work?
1E WakeUp which is part of the 1E agent ensures that all PCs targeted for software distribution are turned on and ready to receive it, reducing the chance that a PC will miss a vital patch. Because you can guarantee that each PC will be available when it is needed, the total power consumption of the enterprise will be reduced (as PCs can be powered off when not in use).
The software uses a combination of standard ‘Magic Packets’ and an agent service to enable Wake-On-LAN to function over networks which do not support directed subnet broadcasts.
Although 1E WakeUp can only be used to turn PCs on, it can be used in conjunction with another 1E product, NightWatchman, to turn off PCs. NightWatchman can turn off PCs on demand, or according to a schedule, thereby reducing power consumption. It also saves any open documents thereby ensuring that no data is lost during the shutdown.
1E WakeUp and NightWatchman can be purchased together as a cost effective power management and software updating solution – the Power & Patch Management Pack.
- Dramatically improves user productivity by ensuring every user has a healthy, well performing PC
- Proactively checks PCs, identifying issues and automatically remedying them
- Dramatically reduces downtime and guarantees 100% patch deployment success
- Supports almost instant delivery of software and patches across an entire network
- Integrates seamlessly with NightWatchman to deliver round the clock PC power and patch management
- The most scalable solution available today; we have several customers with over 300,000 licences
- The only solution of its type to achieve Common Criteria for IT Security (CC) Assurance
How does NightWatchman save energy?
NightWatchman provides a solution that allows you to save energy immediately. In organisations that leave PC’s on 24×7 for management purposes, a significant amount of energy is wasted overnight. To illustrate this, a PC and monitor in idle state are using between 80w and 200w depending on the technology in use. This is equivalent to between 2 and 5 lightbulbs. With energy saving now at a premium, NightWatchman assists organisations with automatically powering down this infrastructure when not required.
How are energy savings achieved?
NightWatchman provides centralised, reliable and secure shutdown and wakeups of workstations automatically. This saves as much as R250 per annum per PC on energy costs. Over and above this, the solution comes out of the box with a full reporting pack that allows you to track energy, co2 emissions and costs within your organisation.
Features of the product include:
- Powers down or logs off PCs across an enterprise
- Protects unsaved user data prior to shutdown
- Wake on lan with no network changes required
- Produces reports to calculate current and potential future energy savings
- Controls PC Power Scheme settings
- Schedules daily, immediate or once off shutdowns
- Controllable with any systems management tooling as well as through its own console
- Energy, cost and co2 emissions reporting
- Product performance reporting
Improving IT operations
NightWatchman actually enhances the IT operations of an organisation. By being able to power manage devices, NightWatchman ensures that devices are available for patching and by regularly powering down workstations, administrators can ensure that important security patches are applied.
What is Green IT or sustainable computing?
Information Technology has been at the forefront of innovation and business efficiency in literally every industry since the advent of readily accessible computing in the 70’s. Hence, IT needs to take a leading role in the largest challenge facing our species at the moment, namely global warming and climate change. In short, the advent of Green IT.
If one examines the issues we face at a macro level, we really need a 3 pronged attack to survive as a species and IT needs to play a significant role in all of these:
1. We need lots and lots of abundant clean energy, which is affordable.
There is no doubt that moving to clean energy, be it renewables or nuclear (don’t discount this) is going to be more expensive than the cheap carbon we have today. This however should not become a hindrance in pursuing this objective. IT’s role in this paradigm shift, moving to a low carbon economy, will be paramount. Smart green energy is the only way forward and technology will enable this.
2. We need to continue to pursue energy efficiency to ensure a sustainable future.
If we assume that energy is going to get expensive, the only way to ensure sustained growth and get the majority of the world’s population out of energy poverty is to ensure that we become more efficient. In simple terms, do more work with less energy that is more expensive. If we fail to achieve this, we will hinder economic growth and ensure that poverty persists. The major consequence will be that poverty stricken communities that cannot afford ‘expensive clean energy’ may pursue dirty energy strategies. So becoming more efficient is critical and in reality underpins what IT is all about.
The use of technology is almost always around becoming efficient. The simple task of turning a bit on or off is actually about doing a piece of work more efficiently, be it a calculation, word processing or getting your companies books out earlier than ever before. From a business perspective, IT is a large consumer of energy and making the service you deliver as an IT professional more energy efficient will become more and more important as the cost of energy continues to escalate.
3. We need to conserve our natural resources.
It is all well and good getting access to clean energy and becoming more efficient, however, if we don’t continue to manage, conserve and preserve our natural resources, the future of our species on the planet is questionable. We have to continue to look after our water resources, our oceans and our natural wilderness. These are critical to ensuring that our biome remains in balance and will ensure that water and food security do not become threats leading to conflict. Again, the role of technology in monitoring the effects of climate change and managing these rapidly decreasing resources will become key. Taking this further, moving to ‘birth to birth’ manufacturing processes which reutilise raw materials after usage will again be driven by advances in design driven by technology.
Business Apathy towards sustainability (and sustainable IT)
Business in many instances is still apathetic towards global warming and climate change. The most common excuse is the responsibility to the shareholders to make money. If we continue to hold that view, we are on a very slippery downhill slope into oblivion. However, even if we do work within these confines, there is not a single shareholder that would not agree with efficiencies that lower costs and improve the bottom line? You would struggle to find a shareholder that would fight against improved market perceptions of their business leading to financial growth? Few shareholders would prevent an organisation lowering their tax liability by lowering their carbon footprint, or improve their global market competitiveness by reducing the carbon intensity of their manufactured product.
The steam train that is the ‘low carbon economy’ is actually nearing the station. It may have already arrived and ‘green IT’ is one of the carriages.
The role for the IT Department and sustainable computing
If we accept that we are entering a paradigm shift, and that technology is going to be a key enabler moving forward, then the IT department and the role of IT is going to become more and more important. IT is going to be the change agent to drive efficiencies in organisations. IT will enable companies to measure where they are and build plans to make improvements. IT will be the means whereby companies will become ‘smart’. ‘Smart’ in respect of all aspects of the business from, logistics to facilities management, manufacturing processes to full dematrialisation of carbon intensive business processes.
The ‘smart’ CIO is the leader who is going to realize this sooner rather than later and start to lead these initiatives in the boardroom. Never has a more telling opportunity faced IT before than what the low carbon economy brings. The opportunity for IT in many organisations is to move up the value chain and be at the forefront of business strategy and business leadership. The change within the next 10 years is going to be enormous and companies that will win in this new economy will be the innovators, innovation led and driven through technology.