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Thursday, 21 April 2011 11:40

Mac power demands better management


In a clear signal that the Mac OS has become important to enterprise class users, power management specialist Verdiem this week announced its latest product release would monitor and manage Mac power consumption - with forecasts of up to 30 per cent savings on electricity bills.

John Scumniotales acknowledged that only a tiny fraction of the world's personal computers today are Macs, but he said that large enterprises were increasingly looking for tools to help them manage Mac power use, just as they wanted to manage PC power bills.

In addition, companies which were obliged to report their energy consumption under emerging environmental regulations, needed to have an accurate tool to track their energy consumption, he argued.

He said that personal computers each consumed 400-800 kilowatt hours of power. 'That's beyond a toaster and more like a high end TV.

'Running a PC can cost $100-$150 a year (worth) of energy,' he said.  Verdiem's system, which can be installed for $20 per PC, typically saves 30 per cent of the energy costs Mr Scumniotales told iTWire this week.

He said the product had a 'very quick time to value.' Internationally about 1.6 million PCs have the system installed and according to Mr Scumniotales one of Australia's largest banks is a local user,

While the Surveyor tool has traditionally allowed companies to measure, monitor and manage PC power consumption; 'We have definitely seen a pull from the market for power management on Macs,' from both enterprise and education customers according to Mr Scumniotales,

Surveyor 5.5 released this week provides Mac OS support for the first time.

Deal with Cisco expands range. Read on

In the not too distant future the company plans to broaden out its capability further as a result of a partnership with networking giant Cisco, which will see the release of a tool to measure, monitor and manage the energy used by 'any network connected device,' he said. Mr Scumniotales said that; 'While there are some well-developed organisations that are managing their energy consumption in terms of metering and billing, they often have no way to break that down.'

Over the next five years he said Verdiem planned to release tools that would give greater granular vision into power consumption by electronic devices.

Although he acknowledged the rising interest in cloud computing, which allows companies to use lower power devices to access enterprise systems, Mr Scumniotales said he was not expecting that to have much of an impact on end user hardware for the next two to three years. 'Desktop systems will still be used, and need to be used effectively.'

The challenge that Verdiem faces he acknowledged is getting sales traction within large enterprises, some of which are only now grappling with energy management.

'One of the challenges out there is that our software is typically deployed and managed by IT. But from an IT perspective this represents risk and cost - and the benefit goes to the facilities group.

'That's one of the major impediments to widespread adoption,' Mr Scumniotales admitted. He said that the company and its partners had more success when they were able to reach c-level executives who understood the importance of managing fast rising power bills,


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