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Empowering Efficient IT

December 2009 - Posts

  • Useful Work Whitepaper

    We've been talking about the concept of 'useful work' all over the place since the release of NightWatchman Server Edition, but just what does it mean? This whitepaper explains all, thanks to 1E's Andy Dominey and Mark Blackburn.

    In it we reveal just what constitutes useful work, and how you can seek out those lazy slackers that have been sitting in the corner fiddling about wasting energy. We will explain the problem of both physical AND virtual laziness (or sprawl), show how NightWatchman Server Edition can expose those systems that are not performing useful work - and report on them.

     What more could you ask for?

    Read it here

  • 1ENEWS: 1E Newsletter Issue 1

    It's here! Issue one of the 1E Newsletter is available and I urge you to take a look - now!

     There is a great article by Gartner's David J. Cappuccio - Data Center Efficiency and Capacity: A Metric to Calculate Both . Here's a synopsis:

    Current metrics being proposed in the industry for data center efficiencies are not adequate for use in day-to-day operations. This research proposes a simple performance metric to be used to identify underutilized resources and cost-saving opportunities in data centers.

    This piece is a must-read for anyone interested in getting a realistic handle on their current data center utilization.

    Also in this issue is a thoughful piece from our CEO - Sumir Karayi along the same lines.  Are your servers utilized or useful? Interested? Read the whole article here.

    Here's looking forward to Issue 2 !

  • 1ENEWS: Shopping 3.1 - just in time for Christmas!

    1E, today announced version 3.1 of its web-based self-service application provisioning tool, Shopping, which automates and simplifies the request, approval, license management and delivery cycle of software distribution.

    There is a growing trend for organizations to delegate aspects of IT decision making to a regional business unit - or branch office - in order to increase agility and lower management overheads. With Shopping 3.1, branch administrators are empowered to make local decisions, such as which applications are available and who can approve them. Central IT retains overall governance and control and no changes are required to the existing systems management infrastructure.

    Shopping 3.1 is packed with new features that empower branch office administrators, giving them greater control over the distribution process; reducing the costs associated with each request through automation; and minimizing the time taken to deliver an application to an individual end-user or department, while allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks. The solution also dramatically increases end-user satisfaction and productivity, as standard applications can be delivered in minutes from the initial request.

    With Shopping 3.1, a regional or branch office administrator can now:

    - choose which applications are published in their branch or site

    - add approvers to their branch

    - configure approval for the published applications

    - view branch management reports

    Shopping 3.1 is fully-integrated with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Active Directory and offers increased platform support for
    Windows®7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 and enhanced scalability and performance.

    "Managing IT centrally can often be time-consuming, expensive and difficult. With Shopping 3.1, branch office administrators spend less time fulfilling end-user requests, while individual end-users have greater control over and faster, automated, license-controlled access to the applications they need to get their jobs done," says Sumir Karayi, CEO, 1E. "All 1E solutions are designed to offer a return on investment in under 12 months, creating attractive opportunities for branch offices and centralized organizations alike."

    Shopping has proven it is scalable and reliable in a live environment. At Syngenta, Shopping handled over 147,000 requests and saved over 50,000 man hours of IT support time. Mario Kunz, Global Client Services Lead at Syngenta, who has been using Shopping for the past six years, says: "The application is doing 100 per cent of what it was designed to do, and enabling our users to get the software they need to work effectively."

    Available now 

  • 1ETV - Andy Hawkins talks about NightWatchman Server Edition

     Just in case you didn't see this on our YouTube channel (surely not!), here's a great little interview with NightWatchman Server Edition Product Manager - Andy Hawkins. Shot just prior to the release of NightWatchman Server Edition  , it's a great intro to the product..

  • Using NightWatchman Server Edition to control Virtual Sprawl

    What is virtual sprawl?

    Virtualization must be one of the most touted 'silver bullet' solutions of the last ten years. I can't think of any company who hasn't either implemented or considered virtualization. With Server hardware advancing leaps and bounds, and disk space becoming ever cheaper and more plentiful, the ability to partition that space into multiple virtual server environments or 'Virtual Machines' (VMs) has provided many benefits. For data center managers, it makes provisioning new servers a simple task. Extra server capacity can be brought online as and when required, with no additional hardware involved, and a low admin requirement. Once your virtual server image is created, you can have your new army of virtual playgrounds ready and waiting. If a customer needs a server fast - just start one up.
    In IT test or development departments it means that developers or tester teams can have access to a new server build at the click of a mouse, which they can then play with, before ditching it and starting up a new one.
    So it all sounds amazing, but as we know from past experience, nothing is for nothing. Enter Virtual Sprawl..

    Virtual sprawl can be described as the unmanaged spread of VMs without adequate management or control. Or, it’s a bit like my workshop at home, which suffers from the unmanaged spread of tools and other items without any management or control whatsoever.
    It usually comes about because of a lack of the correct management processes that are required to track and maintain a VM. Because we can't see a physical VM it's easy to forget about it, unlike a physical server which can be more easily accounted for. Companies jumped on the VM bandwagon without really thinking of the long term implications because virtualization was the answer to so many problems.

    What does it all cost?

    I think that initially there was a general perception that because VMs are so easy to create and keep on standby they are somehow invisible to cost. If only.

    Some time ago I read that the costs associated with virtual servers can be broadly split into four categories. These are infrastructure, management systems, server software, and administration. So you need a physical box on which to host the virtual system, the server software (be that Windows or Unix etc), some admin time and some kind of management - virtual servers need patching too!
    However, I would add a fifth category to the above. Each VM that is out there and running is using up energy in the form of the electricity used to power the host server and disks. Just like a real server, a VM needs a slice of the processor time, memory and other hardware services.

    It shouldn't all be cost however. If a company decides to implement a virtualization project, the savings can be immediate and quite significant. Depending on the level of virtualization, hundreds or indeed thousands of physical servers can be decomissioned. Once this has been achieved however, it's easy for the rot to set in. Once customers (either internal or external) get to know how easy it is for a VM to be deployed, it creates demand for more and more servers. The number of VMs creeps up and up until you reach a situation where the very cost savings of virtualization have been wiped out and you have a rapidly growing problem on your hands.

    Visibility is the Key

    In our experiences so far, we have found that NightWatchman Server Edition (NWSE) is a great tool for preparing for virtualization. Using our Useful Work analysis on your physical server population will allow you to identify which servers can be virtualized and/or decommissioned. Armed with this information you can plan your consolidation and virtualization project with precision.

    However, it is also the perfect tool for monitoring your VMs once deployed.You can setup regular monitoring and reporting so that you can easily identify any VM which is running but no longer performing it's original task, or is simply under utilised. Consolidation should not be a one-off task, and VMs can and should be included in an ongoing 'server waste-management' plan.

    If you suspect that you already have a bad case of virtual sprawl out there, and may have VMs out in the wild that are no longer required, you can also use NWSE to track them down and bring them under control. NWSE can easily highlight VMs which were commissioned in haste (perhaps for a one-off project) and are no longer in use. Or perhaps a whole group of VMs were ordered for a project that is now complete. Once these so called orphaned VMs are identified you can reclaim valuable disk space as well as reducing your energy usage.

    Virtualization is a great tool. It's all about doing more with less, and with the right tools to control your VM sprawl you can achieve exactly that.

  • 1ENEWS:Microsoft Technology Centers add 1E Solutions to Sustainable IT Briefings


    1st December 2009 – at Microsoft Management Summit 2009 in New York, 1E, today announced that its solutions are being showcased at the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in New York. 1E NightWatchman®, Shopping™ and 1E WakeUp™ solutions have initially been added to the Sustainable IT briefing at the New York MTC and are set to be rolled out to the remaining 17 MTCs across the globe in early 2010.

    Microsoft Technology Centers provide the resources that the modern enterprise needs — from technology experts to an exceptional technology environment — to envision, plan, build, deploy, operate, and optimize a secure, customized solution, based on Microsoft and partner technologies. Microsoft is joined by industry leaders such as 1E in hardware, software and services, who work together to create and drive joint technology initiatives and solutions. By augmenting Microsoft’s capabilities, companies like 1E help Microsoft deliver a more complete customer solution.

    "The MTC offers a range of executive briefings and earlier this year, we decided to create a new briefing, focused, on sustainable IT to address the very real environmental challenges facing modern business," comments Chuck McCann, MTC Alliances Program Director. "In order to fully showcase the best technologies available, we needed to collaborate with specialists in the field. 1E was the natural choice as it offers power management solutions with excellent technology and fully featured solutions."

    1E NightWatchman is the world’s leading PC power management solution with four million licensed users worldwide. Since it was launched a decade ago, 1E has saved customers USD$360 million in energy costs alone. In the year 2009, 1E will save 1 million US Tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted from burning 2.4 million barrels of oil.

    Shopping from 1E automates the request, approve, license and delivery cycle of end-user software distributions to significantly reduce operational cost and software spend while allowing IT helpdesk staff to focus on more strategic tasks. This self-service solution dramatically increases user satisfaction, is implemented rapidly and easily integrates with in-house applications. The result is a more agile IT infrastructure which puts users in control of the IT resources available to them.

    Now installed in over 5 million seats worldwide and at several 200,000+ seat organizations, 1E WakeUp is proven and scalable technology for securely powering on PCs for successful software updates. By working in synchronization with Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager 2007, 1E WakeUp increases delivery success and visibility of PC health.

    Sumir Karayi, CEO, 1E, comments: "We are delighted to be part of the MTC experience, helping business professionals discover the best technologies to help their organisations thrive through real world demonstrations."


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