Desktop Power Management - BigFix

Information Systems & Computing

Information Systems & Computing will install a desktop energy management program on 1500-2000 systems that enables departments to minimize desktop energy use while still providing users and I.T. staff the flexibility to access desktops remotely when needed in support of critical off‐hours functions. The program is capable of producing comprehensive reports that capture current power usage and potential savings based on power recommendations.

The ISC Desktop Power Management initiative aims to reduce power consumption by desktop and laptop computers at Penn, doing so by utilizing the BigFix desktop management service to set and monitor power settings and consumption.  Each organization’s client computers will be managed by either their local support provider or by ISC Support-on-Site Services, who will work with users to ensure that they have appropriate power settings for their use models.  Each client computer that uses power settings recommended by ISC will be eligible for a discounted rate for the BigFix service.  BigFix provides a wealth of data about computers’ settings and power use:

  • Each computer’s power settings.
  • Estimated power used per computer per day.
  • Amount of time a computer has spent in various power states (active, idle, standby, off).
  • Aggregated information about computers that have power-savings states (monitor sleep, hard disk sleep, standby mode, hibernate mode) enabled.
  • With these data, “BigFix “can also create power-savings estimates for various power states.
  • Eligibility for the Green Fund discount will be based on a per-machine opt-in basis by each organization and then by a given computer’s subsequent and ongoing use of power-saving settings and/or managed shutdown schedules to achieve a significant reduction in power usage. Each client organization will receive a Midterm and Final report of its computers’ power settings, average time spent in power states, and other power savings data.  Only computers that meet the power-saving criteria will receive the discounted “BigFix” service, but any computer can continue to use BigFix at its normal price and receive all of the benefits of remote desktop management. This pilot will inform ISC decision-making about a broader implementation of “BigFix".

Green Fund Summary Report: Desktop Power Management - BigFix

Project Leader: 
Mark Aseltine, Executive Director, Technology Support Services, ISC
Project Sponsor: 
Robin Beck, Vice President, Information Systems & Computing