I was reading some Dell promo stuff talking about intel vPro technology which gives the ability to boot a remote computer which has been shutdown as long as it’s got a network connection and power to the motherboard.
Amazing stuff. And having it would mean you can remotely manage a networked computer even if the user has switched off for the day. It (vPro) claims you can even connect to a non-booting PC and fix problems caused by bad BIOS settings. No more “I couldn’t upgrade the PC after hours because the user didn’t read their email reminding them to leave it switched on” excuses. No more having to be onsite to physically attend OS failures because the technology gives you control prior to the OS Boot.
However the real savings as far as I can tell with this sort of technology would be energy savings.
Recent news articles regarding how many times you could boil a kettle per Google search brought energy efficiency to the fore. Sustainability is a new corporate keyword.
For IT people, this direction adds up to simplification (yay!). Instead of 10 physical servers to maintain it can be reduced to 2 plus a SAN. Instead of 100 energy guzzling desktops you can install 100 15-20watt dumb terminals and you can aggregate the user resources onto suitably spec’d terminal servers (themselves virtualized).
The good thing with this consolidation is you can make 1 change to effect many users. The bad thing is you can make 1 mistake and effect many users.
My brothers company netConsult has created a GreenDesktops initiative. In talking to him, I have been astounded by the amount of physical (disk) resources that can be saved by using VMWare Thin Provisioning and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
So if you are a CTO / CIO / IT Guy in a Medium to Large Sized business and are over server sprawl and climbing energy demands look into the benefits of GreenDesktops and their enabling technologies.