Power-crazy PCs get told to relax by new software
PC power management company Verismic is extending its product’s abilities, so it can turn your PC on before you reach your desk, and help shut down a PC that cannot go to sleep.
Power Manager can control large numbers of business PCs, to save money and waste. Version 4.0 includes a Dynamic WakeUp feature, which learns what time you start work, and anticipates your arrival by turning the machine on for you. It also dynamically adjusts the screen brightness during the day, and when you leave at night, it fights the numerous applications which try to keep a PC switched on, combating what Verismic calls “PC insomnia”.
Screens dim dynamically
“Dynamic WakeUp tracks the usage of devices,” Verismic CEO Ashley Leonard told TechWeekEurope. “It automatically configures wake-up patterns.” The feature gathers data which can be useful in other ways – one customer used it to identify machines which were unused and tidied up its inventory as well as cutting power.
Power management was marketed as the best way for a company to cut its electricity usage and its carbon footprint, but the field has lacked innovation of late, as the fashion for Green IT faded. “It is all about cost-savings; no customers are buying on Green,” said Leonard, conceding that “there has been very little innovation, in the last few years.” Vendors such as 1E have shifted to related areas such as efficiency and system management.
However, power management has come to the fore again, with Cisco’s purchase JouleX for data centre power control. Leonard says the new Verismic product has “brand new concepts”, and is not just about power management or green issues.
The ability to automatically dim PC screens will “reduce eye strain and aid sleep patterns,” he told us, as well as substantially reducing the power used by one of any PC’s most hungry components, by dimming it when the ambient light is lower. DynamicBrightness works according to a timetable, rather than any form of light sensor, so it will be fairly clumsy when sunlight level changes. It also lets users over-ride it (and lets IT managers remove that power to over-ride, if they want more control).
Peaceful sleep for PCs
The PC Insomnica analyser is designed to combat software which insists on keeping the PC awake. “The operating system has power controls, but some applications can over-ride that,” said Leonard. The new Verismic software can force the system to close down for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Verismic, like other PC power management firms, is branching out. The system can now make a dynamic inventory of hardware and software (useful for managing the power of specific components and programs). “We aren’t going int end-point management,” said Leonard, “but IT can have this information.”
The system is cleverly set-up to pre-calculate data on the PC before sending it, thus minimising the network bandwidth used. It also stores more data on the PC than it uses so, for instance, in future, an IT manager can decide to activate a monitor of video downloads , and have access to historic data.
The whole power management market could have another issue, as desktop systems are replaced by laptops which inherently use less power, and are better optimised for power usage, but Leonard says the power laptops use is still well worth controlling, especially with issues like screen power coming into play.
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