OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

You are here

Computer Lab Management & Power Savings

Graf 202 Computer Lab

Keith Price and the College of Engineering have developed a system to manage power consumption in the computer labs. COE will assess the reliability of the sleep/wake process and remote management capabilities and determine how much time the machines have been asleep when they would otherwise have been awake.

The system being assessed involves Linux and PC-based computers across several COE labs. A script runs every 5 minutes to see if a user is logged in to a machine. Once a user is no longer logged in, the machine will put itself to sleep (S3 mode). Additionally, a web-based program allows lab users to view the current usage of a particular lab and lab managers to control the power settings for the computers.

View current lab usage here.

Final goal

Following an assessment of the COE system, the Greening IT team hopes to recommend that the majority of the open labs on campus use a single lab management system with consistent power settings.

The Charge

  • Reduce electricity usage of computers.
  • Allow lab users to visualize computer lab usage.
  • Maintain a database that contains information on sleep, login, startup, and wake times of the networked computers to enable reports on actual savings.
  • Collaborate with Network Services to discuss how Wake-on-LAN tools can be integrated with Maintain and rolled out campus-wide.
  • Document and demonstrate a lab management system that could be used across campus. 
  • Determine the feasibility of a centralized management system and any hindrances to implementation.

Projected Impact

The College of Engineering projects that sleeping its 400 lab computers during times of inactivity will save $8,000 annually.

Project Updates

July 2011 - Conferred with Russ Born at Student Computing Facilities about lab management methods. Talked to COSINe and other groups on campus that manage computer labs.

October 2011 - Discussions with Network Engineering about network switch changes to enable consistent management of computers that are put to sleep. Began to assemble documentation about Wake-on-LAN and the associated caveats. Progress was made on lab management documentation and the investigation of paper waste reduction within College of Engineering labs.

Upcoming

January 2012 - Document and demonstrate a lab management system that could be used across campus. Determine the feasibility of a centralized management system and any hindrances to implementation.