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PowerMAN Deployment Tips and Scenarios

As you move from using PowerMAN to monitor PC usage to control power management the following hints may help with project planning:
  1. Think about your users and their usage pattern. Are your user-computer relationships persistent/exclusive? Will the same user use the PC next time? If the same user will be the next person to use the PC then using hibernate / sleep may be ideal.

  2. If the users change frequently then hibernate / sleep may result in the computer being locked for the next user. In this case a forced logout may be a good approach. When the user has been logged out you can then implement your chosen power management strategy using a 'No User' policy.

  3. PowerMAN offers several different policy management policies. Most organisations implement a standard 'Default User' policy. If appropriate you may also wish to implement a 'No User' policy for when nobody is logged on. This is a good opportunity to use full power-off (shutdown) when nobody is logged on.

  4. Idle (timeout) strategies generally save more energy because they allow each computer to respond independently to its environment. This works well in some environments but may be unacceptable in others with a more rigid operating schedule (for instance school classrooms).

  5. Alternatively you may like to use a scheduled strategy (scheduled hibernate etc) as your primary management mechanism. Depending upon your environment this may be a cruder approach but have the advantage of being consistent on every PC and therefore more suitable for your users.

  6. Some organisations use a mixture of Idle and Scheduled approaches. This can work very well with the 'daytime' idle timeout being used for a 'light' sleep and the night-time scheduled shutdown being used to clean-up and maximize savings overnight.

Whatever approach you use please remember that PowerMAN will work most consistently if you:
  • Baseline the environment before implementing actual power management– This will allow the effect of the remedial action to be quantifiably measured.
  • Always define a Default User policy - even if it is configured to do nothing
  • Always define a Global policy for hardware buttons etc - even if the configuration is trivial this will ensure consistency. This step is particularly useful on Windows XP where pre-existing power management configuration may sometimes cause a conflict.
  • Remember to enable hibernate if you plan to use this power saving mode
  • Enable 'Policy Enforcement' to ensure consistent application on PCs suffering from PC Insomnia.
This last feature is explained in our FAQs here:

What is computer insomnia?
What is the policy enforcement feature? How does it work?

The following examples illustrate some typical deployment scenarios:

  Typical Scenario After Deployment
Workplace

User dedicated PC
Same user uses PC every day. Locked workstations are not a problem.

Majority of users leave systems on to avoid start-up delay and preserve work or allow remote access
Sleep / hibernate systems when not in use. This preserves system state ready for later access. Schedule wake for start of working day. Configure system for remote wake if remote access required
 
Hot desk office

Non-dedicated PC
Different user uses PC every session. Locked workstations are not acceptable.

Users frequently change and therefore data preservation for extended periods is not required. No requirement for remote access
Log out / shutdown systems not in use. Use log out / hibernate to minimize delay at start-up. If appropriate use scheduled wake / shutdown to match user usage pattern
 
Public access area

Multiple regular users
Users frequently change and may not have unique logons. Therefore data preservation is not required. It is not desirable for users to shut down system. Majority of systems left permanently powered on. Configure default power settings to sleep system after a few minutes of inactivity. User pressing any key (or even moving mouse) will wake system within a second. If appropriate use scheduled wake to ensure system available during opening hours