Hardware Thread, Eco-Warriors R'us - Shutting down equipment in Technical; I 'm a tech support guy for a number of schools in Surrey.
One Infant school in particular were 'helpfully' ...
7th May 2009, 09:24 PM #1
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Eco-Warriors R'us - Shutting down equipment
I 'm a tech support guy for a number of schools in Surrey.
One Infant school in particular were 'helpfully' branded recently as having poor energy efficiency. I'm desperate to help them loose this label by drawing up a plan of action to shut down IT equipment overnight / during holidays...
1. Can Cachepilot be shutdown remotely (without having to switch it off on the back, or via the web interface); ie. can I shut it down via a shell script?? If so, any suggestions?
2. I want to write a shutdown script on their MS Server (2k3), that will detect if anyone is connected to it, or using any of its resources, and if not then shutdown. Any ideas on best way to do this - I do have some ideas, but don't want to reinvent the wheel.
IDG Tech News
7th May 2009, 10:05 PM #2
We use this script and I know that several other schools are using this as well. In theory would not be too much extra work to extend the wmi to check for a logged in user.
We found it easier to use GPO to allow an opt out, as leaving machine logged in, was not an excuse for not turning it off. Script also allows for certain machines to be excluded.
7th May 2009, 10:08 PM #3
Last (first and only) time I had a holiday shut down the forest root wouldnt boot back up!
SMT have never asked for a shut down since!
Never shut your servers down - it just gives them the opportunity to misbehave!!!
7th May 2009, 10:47 PM #4
Shutting down workstations/putting network printers into standby etc makes good eco frendly sense, but attempting to shut down the entire infrastructure is only likely to lead to problems.
If you use something like a scheduled task to shut down the workstations, you can then use WOL to turn everything back on from the server ready for registration the following morning.
7th May 2009, 10:49 PM #5
I'd agree, domain controllers in particular don't like gaps of time, it breaks Kerberos amongst other things (result: large hassle). For workstations and minor servers, though, Shutdownertron is your friend.
7th May 2009, 10:54 PM #6
I was once told this:
Servers are like old people, you put them to bed one night and every now and then they don't wake up.
5 Thanks to FN-GM:
diggory (15th May 2009), mossj (15th May 2009), OutToLunch (8th May 2009), stevenlong1985 (8th May 2009)
8th May 2009, 12:11 AM #7
I've done some work on this in our school (helpfully feeding my OCD streak). Something like shutdownertron is a good idea for your workstations. I use a script of my own, but it does pretty much the same stuff. Turning off servers is going too far IMHO as people have said above.
There are some apps knocking about for controlling the power settings on your desktops, such as EZ GPO:
EZ GPO : ENERGY STAR
If you make sure Wake On Lan is turned on on the client PCs, having computers switch off a lot shouldn't get in the way of your general network admin tasks (patching/deployment etc).
It's worth investing in a power measurement device or two to check what power your devices draw in standby and at full power. I've found CRTs turned off with the mechanical switch on the front which consume more power than a bigger TFT which is switched on! I think this is the model we've got:
[ame=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Power-Energy-Monitor-by-Brennenstuhl/dp/B000XSX1PA]Electrical Energy Meter PM230: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo[/ame]
They are more accurate if you connect several devices at once with a gang extension.
Other things to look at:
Make sure that projectors are set to shut down when they don't have a signal. A projector will merrily use as much juice as 5 desktop PCs and doesn't use any less if it's displaying a mostly black screensaver! If your PCs are shutting down on a schedule, the projectors will follow soon after.
Check if your aircon units have timers. Most of ours have timers which can be set just to switch off at certain times - no need to set them to switch on automatically. Put up signs reminding the hard of thinking that it's evil and wrong to open doors and windows when they have the aircon on.
You can buy power distribution units which can be controlled over IP, but when I last looked they weren't economical for us. If you're being ultra-keen they might be a good idea for you.
EDIT: Crikey, do you think the amazon ads are obtrusive enough?
8th May 2009, 11:50 AM #8
We do some of it here, but in our new building (coming online in septemberish) we're going to pull the stops out.
New kit throughout, all identical..so WOL etc is go there.
LAN Projectors, so centralised shutdown possible
Building management system, so electric windows, intelligent lighting, heat regeneration systems, ground source heating, 3 wind turbines, rainwater harvesting etc
Mass virtualisation of servers using ESXi
and so on, and so on. Looking forward to being able to shut the building down (literally) by remote if needs be. I'm going to get myself lost in the tech/management side of it, as it'll all run back to the server room behind my office.
Another recommendation for the plug-in monitors here - both at work and home. I just had a quarterly power bill for £43..heh. And that was us being lazy, at that.
One thing I will miss from here is our "big red switch" system - we had the suites cabled to our design, with 2 ring mains...1 for PCs, 1 for screens. If you want the kids attention, hot the switch and kill the TFTs. Same at night too, it's lovely.
Shame it's not been specced in the new one.
8th May 2009, 12:45 PM #9
Don't touch your Cache Pilot. Depending on what you use them for, they can take hours to rejig themselves after being shutdown.
Originally Posted by mrwoberts
It's Laser Printers you want to be paying attention to. Waste leccy like their is no tomorrow. Put them all on socket timers and watch the leccy dial slow down before your very eyes.
8th May 2009, 01:02 PM #10
As well as automatic shutdowns at night, look at power usage during the day. We bought Visionsoft - Power-Out - Visionsoft's Network PC Power Utility and set it to turn the monitors off after a few minutes, and the hard disks a bit later - it paid for itself within a few months, and the rooms are much cooler now too. Also, ensure that your printers are turned off when not in use, or at least go into sleep mode when they're idling (although this may not be as efficient as you think, our Konica Magicolors still drew over 100W on "energy save"!).
Above all that, encourage people to turn the lights off when rooms are empty, as this will likely save far more energy than anything you could do.
8th May 2009, 06:03 PM #11
I thought a normal ceiling tile of lighting (4 fluoros) used about the same power as a PC (roughly 60W). Am I close? That would put their consumption lower than the computers in a suite but on a par. Do any schools switch lights off with motion sensors? I've seen them in corridors, but I would think that a classroom with no movement for 5 minutes means a classroom with no kids in it!
Originally Posted by NickJones
9th May 2009, 07:35 AM #12
AS in no over-ride switches at all or just one, because if theres none, you can easily say that there should be one incase something breakes/catches alight or a students gets shocked by it so you can turn off power remotely.
Originally Posted by Sirbendy
11th May 2009, 10:11 AM #13
We have movement sensors in a new section we had put in. The only problem we found was we had to add a manual over ride to turn them off as when a projector was fitted the room was sometimes too bright.
Also added to all the toilets. Only downside is you don't hang about (suppose that could be an up side to management!)
Beyond that they are cool.
11th May 2009, 10:33 AM #14
There or thereabouts (13W for a modern strip light, I think), so turning them all off in empty rooms will make an enormous difference.
Originally Posted by sahmeepee
Depends how sensitive the sensors are I guess, a class where everyone was sat down probably wouldn't generate that much movement... I've worked one place where they kept going out early or late in the day when there was only a handful of people in the office (great fun to go running through the open plan rooms if you happened to be in early though!)
Originally Posted by sahmeepee
11th May 2009, 10:43 AM #15
What about the lunch hour, or any periods during the day when the PCs aren't in use? Add all those hours up, and it will be a surprisingly big number.
Originally Posted by Gibbo
Don't get me wrong - what you're doing is a good step in the right direction, however there is much more which can be done. If it isn't practical/possible to shut them down during idle periods in the middle of the day, at least set them to enter some form of low power state during them.
That may not actually make any difference at all - we've got some monitors here which come with little transformer/power packs on the power cable, and with these, pressing the power button on the front of the monitor makes no difference, as the transformer is still drawing power.
Originally Posted by Gibbo
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