We’re talking almost daily with System Center shops that have tried SCCM 2007 R3 for power management and now realize that it’s a dead-end. Energy savings goals are not realized, and IT expectations for a low TCO solution are not fulfilled either.
In head-to-head comparisons at customer sites, we’ve found that Verdiem Surveyor delivers at least 2x more energy savings than System Center, and in some cases taking the savings rate from 10% up to 50%. For example at a large financial services company, despite expensive customization from Microsoft, Verdiem still achieved better than 2x SCCM results, delivering nearly 40% in annual savings.
These findings align with a comprehensive study of the PC power management (PCPM) market conducted by Ovum Research.
Many IT administrators have inflated expectations about the effectiveness of desktops' built-in power-saving technologies…The typical savings of 40% or more that can be achieved with PCPM versus built-in power-saving features also applies to PCs managed by Microsoft's latest System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr). While Microsoft's ConfigMgr R3 includes improved power management, it falls short of leading PC power management solutions on the market.
- Ovum Research, December 2011
There is no doubt that Microsoft System Center is the leading desktop management system. But it’s also pretty clear that the power management features are an afterthought at best and that’s reflected in the System Center 2012 release where only a few minor features were added. Additionally, at the System Center 2012 launch this week during the annual Microsoft Management Summit, there are no educational sessions (in over 200!) covering PC power management. To Microsoft, power management functionality is a “checkbox” requirement – part of a long list of product features.
System Center falls short of Verdiem’s Surveyor solution in several ways:
- Limited Reporting: How are customers supposed to determine ROI on their software investments if they are unable to easily report cost and energy savings incurred by their IT energy management solution? System Center doesn’t offer out-of-the-box savings reports and requires extensive, manual development of any sort of savings analysis. Verdiem Surveyor precisely tracks energy consumed by each device on an organization’s network and accurately reports energy usage based on machine, day and time of day. Surveyor also takes into account multinational organizations who are dealing with different energy rates and different currencies, consolidating results from international offices in one easy-to-use dashboard.
- Risky PC Maintenance: System Center uses Wake-on-LAN (WOL) to wake computers for IT maintenance and updates after hours. WOL is a known security risk and requires network configuration changes. Surveyor’s Wake-on-WAN technology provides total control of PC power states, either scheduled or on-demand, and avoids deployment and configuration problems associated with WOL right out of the box. It works in any network topology and across any number of subnets.
- One-Size-Fits-All Power Policies: With System Center, an organization’s IT team has to apply one power policy to the whole PC fleet. It doesn’t take into account weekends, holidays, or different department hours, and maintenance windows are at the same time every day, which isn’t conducive to impromptu maintenance or software updates. Surveyor allows IT to group devices to apply unique power policies that meet the needs of each part of your organization. Surveyor even allows IT to wake PCs for maintenance whenever needed.
- Unchecked Insomnia: A majority of devices have programs or applications that run in the background and prevent PCs from going to sleep, resulting in PC insomnia. These background applications can trip up the Windows idle timer, showing the device as active, which won’t allow System Center to put a computer to sleep. With Verdiem Surveyor, background applications won’t prevent computers from entering a state of limited energy usage, resulting in energy and cost savings for your company.
For the best IT energy management experience, customers should add Verdiem Surveyor to System Center to make sure they are reporting the most accurate results and maximizing their cost and energy savings. The Verdiem Power Management Pack for System Center integrates System Center with Surveyor 6, allowing SCCM admins to work within the familiar SCCM console. Admins can schedule wakes using Surveyor’s network-friendly approach to guarantee the success of patch and software updates. IT no longer has to manually track down PCs not updated, interrupt users with updates during the work day, or suffer from exposed PCs.
Look beyond the course of least resistance with using System Center for power management. Do not let yourself get sold on a “do nothing” strategy. You will leave significant dollars on the table. IT will be frustrated. End users will soon be frustrated too. Best of breed IT energy management solutions like Verdiem are built to deliver savings, keep end users productive, and help improve IT efficiency in managing a large PC fleet.