Department of Defense

Wake-On-Lan utilization in the USAF

I am an IT contractor working on Hurlburt Field, an Air Force Base in Florida. I see, several times a week, employees come in to work, and have to wait (in some cases) up to an hour once they log in, to use their computer. This is caused because they were trying to be energy conservation minded, and they turn off their computers when they leave for the day. This causes some problems because they do not get security updates (this is what takes so long for them to be able to use it). The other portion of the employees leave their machines on 24/7 and their machines are always ready to go when they sit down at them, but with a 200% higher electric bill per machine than the ones that turn theirs off. I suggest using a technology called wake-on-lan that can be configured on almost every desktop computer in the air force. The networks we currently have should be able to handle this task with a minimal amount of settings changes. The wake-on-lan technology provides the systems administrators a way to "wake up" the machines from a very low power state to apply updates and patches, and then put them back to "sleep". This would remedy the high power bills of the "always on" crowd, and provide quick startup for the "energy conscious" crowd. The air force uses the AFWAY system to purchase computers. This standardizes computer configurations (to some extent). The average machine on the AFWAY program (of which, 90%+ of the air force has machines from) consumes 115 watts. The price average I have used for this simulation is $0.10 per kwh. Currently in my unit, we have 260 desktop computers that are connected to the network that can utilize this technology. Our power bill (based upon these numbers) averages $71.76 per day in our squadron to run computers 24 hours a day. Switching to the wake-on-lan model, we could drop that daily bill to $29.90. This may not sound like much, but when applying this to an entire base, for an entire year, the numbers look much more interesting. Yearly, our base spends about $953,000 to power 9,500 desktop computers 24 hours a day. This can be dropped to approximately $395,000 by using a wake-on-lan model. (a savings of $558,000 annually) When applied to the entire Air Force (or entire armed services branch?), this model could save millions of dollars of wasted taxpayer money! The DOD, as a whole, has around 4-500,000 computers, applying these numbers to my model we get a savings of almost $30,000,000 annually!

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Idea No. 14145