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US mobile giant’s energy saving puts computers to sleep

Give computers too much intelligence and you end up with Terminator 2 and I, Robot. Greenbang shudders to think about it – imagine a future where Edward Furlong or Will Smith are our only hope for saving the world. But give computers a little intelligence and you have Pac Man and a utopia of green energy saving.

Verizon (rhymes with horizon) Wireless is one of the biggest mobile operators in the US and it’s been flashing its energy saving success, thanks to computers that don’t need to be told by their users when to shut off.

Now that’s clever. Hopefully won’t lead to the apocalypse either.

It’s also got a shedload of thin clients – which you’d have thought would be quite tricky for an American company.

Here’s more from Verizon:

Over the past year, Verizon Wireless has deployed 1E WakeUp, which ensures that all PCs, whether on or off, can be patched immediately, and NightWatchman®, which significantly reduces the power consumed by PCs. This power management software is now available on 63,000 managed desktops company-wide, resulting in a 24 percent reduction in both PC power consumption and CO2 emissions. The initiative reduces annual energy costs by $1.3 million and carbon emissions by an estimated 7,700 tons.

In addition, Verizon Wireless has deployed “thin client” solutions – virtual technology that provides users access to centrally-stored programs and software – in 17 of its call centers. Thin clients require less power and generate less heat than full workstations, so the company enjoys the benefits of powering a more compact unit, while also saving on cooling costs. Power consumption test results performed by local power companies for two call centers in Irvine, Calif., and Chandler, Ariz., found energy savings ranged from 50 to 60 percent.

The smaller footprint of thin clients requires fewer manufacturing materials, reducing the environmental impact; thin client life-spans are longer and their failure rate is lower, which reduces replacement purchase and disposal costs.

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