Green PC Specialist Sets Sights on Server

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PC power management specialist 1E is launching a product aimed at the server

PC power management specialist 1E is preparing to extend its technology to help companies improve the efficiency of their server infrastructure, the company has revealed.

Speaking at the Green IT ’09 in London on Wednesday, 1E’s founder and chief executive Sumir Karayi said that having proved the effectiveness of its Nightwatchman software for managing the efficiency of PCs, the company is preparing to launch a similar product for servers.

“I am proud to announce Nightwatchman Server. It doesn’t requite you buy any new hardware. What it does do is tell you if server is doing useful work. If I can tell what server is doing useful work I can switch off the servers which are not doing useful work,” he said.

Although Nightwatchman Server Edition won’t be formally launched till later this year, Karayi said that the technology is already being used by three of its customers.

One of the features of the technology are analytical tools to measure performance of individual servers in a data centre and assess which ones are actually carrying out useful computing tasks.

“Ten to fifteen percent of servers can be decommissioned in any data centre but its hard to know which ones – we will tell you which ones,” he said.

Another key feature that 1E is pushing with its server product is the idea of the “drowsy server”. While idle PCs can be put to sleep when not in use, servers are often used sporadically but need to be available instantaneously when required. Rather than putting the systems to sleep, 1E claims it is able to make servers “drowsy” so they use less power but are available when needed.

“If a server is in a retail branch then it is not doing anything useful for most of the day then why should it be using the same amount of power,” explained Karayi. “We make [servers] drowsy rather than go to sleep when they are needed they are brought up to a fully alert state.”

Concerning its existing PC power management product, Karayi said that Nightwatchman automatically powers up computers in the morning, powers down any that are not logged into, and then powers down the systems at the end of the day.

1E claims that it is not enough to rely on users to power-down PCs themselves as at the end of the day it’s not their responsibility. “The reason we fit automatic lights in building is that it’s not the users responsibility to worry about whether the lights are on or not,” he said.

In March 1E released the 2009 PC Energy Report with the Alliance to Save Energy which showed that UK computer users may be more environmentally motivated than their US counterparts.