Kenosha, WI - April 22nd, 2016 - This Earth Day marks the 36th anniversary of the first time people gathered to focus on the impact human actions have on the world. Students were the main focus on the first ever Earth Day, but it’s importance has quickly grown past activist, and into the spotlight of major businesses and organizations.
Many groups look to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing the amount of lights that are used during each Earth Day, or try cut back on printing, or increase recycling. These businesses should look past the impact of small changes on a single day of the year. One of the most environmentally impactful projects the LeewardBA team has undertaken during the past year was partnering with our customers to reduce the energy demand represented by traditional desktop computers.
These 250-watt power hogs are 2-in-1 work stations (and space heaters) that represent a big, but sometimes hidden, impact on a business. A poorly managed desktop computer can often times remain on during the 16 hours that it is not being used by an employee overnight. Our team at Leeward has attacked the power-suck problem desktops represent in three ways: properly managing desktops, right-sizing desktops, and eliminating desktops.
Properly Managed Desktops
Would you allow your desktop to remain on for all hours of the day, only to have you use it for an hour when you are home at night? Leeward’s proactive approach to management ensures that when resources are not being utilized, they don’t cost the business extra.
Looking at desktop power cycle settings helps on multiple fronts. The main two being reducing power consumption and improving computer health. If a desktop is on and it’s not being used for work, then it’s just like an employee sitting at a desk not doing anything. Make sure that when employees leave their desk for longer than 20 minutes the computer is entering a reduced power mode.
This also improves a computer’s hardware health because the device gets a break. This limits the amount of time that dust and other air particulates are being pulled in and getting stuck inside the desktop. Cleaning an old desktop also saves power by reducing the amount that the fans have to work to keep the space heater cooled. Every little bit counts with companies of 50 or more desktops.
Right Sized Desktops
Desktop hardware options no longer just come in one size and color – There are a large variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and form factors to correctly do the job. A customer kiosk for information does not need the same horse power that a photography editor’s computer needs. Full scale computers can now be packed into the size of a book, with a power supply of only 65-watts. Investing the time and effort into learning more about your options to meet a need could cut power by demand by a device by 74%!
Who loves their old, outdated PC? I know I sure don’t. As soon as a computer is purchased it’s essentially outdated within 6 months. Why keep investing in a resource that won’t last as long as the average consumer vehicle and will cost you more than what it’s worth in maintenance over the course of its lifetime?
Leeward has successfully worked with our customers to deploy Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to eliminate the need for the desktop computer all together. Our customers deploy devices with 7-watt power supplies called ‘Thin Clients,’ which then connect back to a shared desktop experience, giving an employee the look and feel of a full (up to date) desktop, without the cost for an initial purchase or the expense for power to keep the thing on. That’s a power demand savings of 97% compared to traditional desktops!
Leeward Customers who have transitioned to VDI solutions as their main employee workstation have seen savings of 20%-30% of their monthly utility bill when removing more than 100 endpoints from a location. This could easily represent $30,000 annual for an origination in the Milwaukee market. Leeward also partners with organizations like Focus on Energy to find grants & incentives for businesses to complete a VDI refresh. That means business are getting paid to save money at the end of the day.
Earth Day is a good reminder that turning off a light or putting your desktop to sleep does have a larger impact when everyone does their part. Using eco-friendly motion sensor lights and recycling are the next steps. VDI & other desktop management techniques are the goals everyone should aim for.
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