I was lucky enough recently to meet Jose Iglesias, the guy spearheading Symantec’s sustainability efforts. I wrote the interview up over on Monkchips, but much of the content belongs here too. I like Symantec’s clear focus on energy. While others are broadening their sustainability story, Symantec is doubling down on managing energy more effectively, with a plan to take its expertise in reducing IT power consumption and start applying it to broader Smart Grid demand response.
Symantec’s Green IT story is very much an enterprise play and arguably a solid sustainability product strategy could help to increase visibility for some of Symantec’s enterprise tools. Thus for example – Symantec NetBackup PureDisk for storage deduplication could be used to cut the amount of storage and power. One challenge for Symantec is identifying and serving the new buyers in energy reduction. Most of the firm’s traditional practitioner purchasers are not tasked with reducing the energy footprint of the products they manage….
“We sell to admins, but few get compensated on energy savings”
To which I would say… not yet.
Smart Grid as Game Changer
One major opportunity for Symantec to change the account management game there is to parlay its IT experience directly into related spaces such as Smart Grid security and asset management…
1E entered the power management space about 10 years ago when they wrote NightWatchman. NightWatchman is a PC power management application which aims to reduce the energy wasted by computers not being turned off at the end of the working day.
They were well ahead of the market (remember, they started 10 years ago, long before there was any power management built into the operating system) and, in fact, they had a hard time selling NightWatchman until about three years ago.
NightWatchman is now deployed on 4 million PCs worldwide savingcustomers US $360 million in energy costs and preventing 3 million tons of CO2 emissions, according to 1E.
As an interesting aside, the name NightWatchman came from the fact that the software was originally written for a company who had a security guard going around at night turning off computers and monitors! In fact, in the first seven years it was sold as a security and patching tool (it would allow companies to shut off computers in the evening and schedule a window in the middle of the night during which the computers would power up to download any security updates and patches which had been released).
It is impossible to monitor and report on the energy used by your PC estate (and therefore the cost and CO2 emissions this causes) using only the built-in tools that come with Windows. Because of the lack of built-in monitoring of energy usage, organizations are unaware of the lack of effectiveness of Windows sleep timers.
Windows power schemes should therefore not be used as the mechanism for reliable overnight and weekend energy saving for PCs.
1E NightWatchman software saves files and closes applications and shuts down or places into sleep mode computers in the Microsoft Windows environment while preventing data loss and application errors. It also allows computers to be turned off from a central location, at a specified time, while providing extensive reports for management.
NightWatchman works with SMSWakeUp, which repowers computers in synchronization with Microsoft SMS. Administrators can boot computers from a centralized command so they can deploy security patches or new applications during off-hours.
By deploying 1E’s NightWatchman and SMSWakeUp applications to its 50,000 client computers, Dell expects to realize up to a 40 percent reduction in computer-related energy costs, which could translate into US$1.8 million in savings annually.
[AT&T] is launching the NightWatchman® PC power management solution from 1E on 310,000 desktop computers across its domestic operations to help improve energy efficiency. Powering down corporate PCs during non-work hours is expected to save AT&T more than 135 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year and eliminate 123,941 tons of carbon dioxide emissions — equivalent to the electricity required to power 14,892 homes.
1E also have a server version of their NightWatchman software – this program identifies under-utilised servers, allowing them to be either re-deployed or decommissioned – fewer servers means less energy consumed by server sprawl. NightWatchman Server also has an energy management component built-in which has the added benefit of reducing heat from servers and therefore the air conditioning load in data centers required to cool the servers.
All of this means less energy costs and fewer CO2 emissions for companies. Go 1E!
Tom Raftery – Influencer, Thought Leader, and Storyteller focusing on Sustainability, Supply Chain, and Technology's take on how digitization and innovation are creatively disrupting our world