Automatic PC Shutdowns
What are we doing?
As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency, IT Services in cooperation with the Environment Team in Estates, will be remotely installing software on all CFS PCs. This new software will allow PCs to be shutdown automatically after a period of disuse. This is one of a number of initiatives supporting the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy.
The outcome will be an estimated saving of ~£30,000 and 287,000 kg of carbon annually. The software has been successfully piloted on approximately 620 PC’s in Engineering, IT Services and Estates as well as Ken Edwards and Charles Wilson Open Access Labs and has resulted in an obvious energy reduction in those areas.
What you can expect?
The shutdowns will only affect CFS PCs that are switched on but not logged in so there’s no concern about losing work due to this change. Further details on the policy are outlined below.
Staff CFS PCs Shutdown
PCs left at the login prompt will be shutdown after 25 minutes.
Monitor screens will be turned to standby and blanked after 10 minutes of the PC being idle.
Student CFS PCs Shutdown
PCs left at the login prompt will be shutdown after 15 minutes in the majority of cases.
When no user is logged in monitor screens will be turned to standby and blanked after 2 minutes.
If a user is logged in, monitor screens will be turned to standby and blanked after 10 minutes of the PC being idle.
When will this happen?
The implementation of this new policy will be done on the 13th December 2010.
With the policy in place, IT services will be monitoring energy usage with a view to making refinements to it in the future.
FAQ's and related information
Q. At what level has this policy been agreed within the University?
A. The policy was agreed by the Environmental Management Working Group which involves representatives from most University Departments. The policy was then endorsed by Registrar.
Q. Will this apply to all CFS computers?
A. There are certain exceptions to the policy. Power management will not be active on any of the student computers in the library user areas initially. The software will be running in 'monitoring mode' for an extended period of time and a modified policy may be introduced based on the information gathered during this period.
Additionally, CFS clients in lecture theatres will not receive the policy.
Q. Can I opt out?
A. If a user wants to be exempt from the power management policy then in the first instance they should contact their local computer officer to check that they have a valid reason. There are a number of legitimate exemptions (e.g. desktop PC’s that control a process or PC’s which are used to drive 24 hour bulletin boards in Department foyers etc).
If the user’s PC needs to be exempt then the computer officer (or the user) should contact the IT Services help desk (ideally via the self service portal) and raise a support request. Please make sure that the PC number, users name and the reason for the exemption are clearly stated in the request.
Q. What software is IT Services using and where has it been successfully deployed before?
A. The software chosen is a product called PowerMan from a company called Datasynergy. This software is widely used and has already been successfully deployed at the University's of Liverpool, Nottingham, Sussex, Bolton, Lincoln, UEA, Cranfield, Manchester Metropolitan, Dundee, Glyndwr and Leeds Trinity.
Q. I am concerned that I will have to wait in the morning for my PC to start up?
A. It is good IT management practice to reboot PC's regularly to ensure security and software patches are applied. IT Services staff and computer officers are aware that this has not been happening and this policy addresses a current problem.
Q. Will the addition of this software increase PC start up times or slow my computer down?
A. Initial testing and feedback from the supplier suggests this does not happen.
Need further information or help?
If you have any technical concerns about the introduction of the automatic shutdowns please contact the IT Service Desk in the first instance.