Microsoft has created a new application with the potential to reduce energy use by personal computers by up to 80 percent, according to a report in PC World. According to the report, which cited a Microsoft study of the application titled “Sleepless in Seattle No Longer.”
The study took place over six months and included 50 PC users. Researchers developed a “sleep proxy” which allows the computer to enter sleep mode when not in use, but remain connected to the network. The computer can then be “reawakened” by the user or IT administrator either directly or remotely when its resources are needed. The paper stated that implementation of the sleep proxy by large enterprises could create several millions of dollars worth of savings.
The system Microsoft implemented allowed computers to sleep more than 50 percent of the time. The system is composed of two components, the SleepServer and SleepNotifier programs. According to a second study on the SleepServer component, energy savings from implementing the system could range from 60 to 80 percent. Fifty to 80 percent of electricity use in modern buildings can be attributed to IT use, according to the second study.
Microsoft plans to present the paper at the Usenix conference in Boston. The software company recently won the Uptime Institute’s Audacious Idea Award for its data center efficiency strategy. The company also recently unveiled its Hohm tool for computing home energy use.