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For monitoring hardware utilization

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The PC Estate Profiler
The PC Estate Profiler is a strategic decision making tool for organizations. It monitors and reports hardware utilization of all PCs across an estate enabling key stakeholders to make intelligent and informed business decisions. It further reduces the energy footprint and administrative overhead by: • Highlighting periods of inactivity across an PC estate enabling administrators to apply more granular power policies and schemes for these periods Identifying unused PCs based on user activity, administrators can safely remove unused hardware, thus reducing the administrative overhead and maintenance costs.

Why might this be useful?
PC Estate Profiler determines when users are actually using their PCs by monitoring key strokes and mouse movements. This information can be used to set power management policies, for example, by matching the power state of each subset of PCs, by location, with the activity level of employees. The extra visibility provided by the PC Estate Profiler provides a more dynamic alternative to taking baselines. Undertaken when power management is first deployed, a baseline provides a highly accurate snapshot of PC usage at that moment in time, but unless the process is repeated on a regular basis, this information over time becomes outdated. The PC Estate Profiler automatically tracks how usage varies with, for example, the adoption of flexible working practices. Enterprises can set policies based on the latest information, helping to maximize their energy cost savings. The PC Estate Profiler, through aggregating PC usage over time, can also identify unused or underutilised PCs on the network, further eliminating the management overhead of maintaining these machines.

How it works
Hardware utilization monitoring is enabled through the power policy or for non-policy-based deployments, the administrator can push out a command-line and/ or registry change to the 1E Agent. Once enabled, PC usage information is collected and aggregated for fixed-length periods, for example, by hour. The data is sent to the WebService as a batch process once per day and is aggregated to report tables. Reports are generated which provide a break-down of this data in a similar way to the existing NightWatchman reports - daily/ weekly/ monthly reports, queried by date range/ location with a drill-down to sub-locations.

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How “PC usage” data is collected Hardware utilization monitoring has two settings – the aggregation interval and the sample interval, for this example we will use an aggregation interval of 60 minutes and a sample interval of 10 minutes. The lower the interval the more granular the results. The following is a breakdown of how it works: 1. PC usage is logged per day, starting at midnight and ending at midnight 2. In this example (see Figure 1 below) we have 24 aggregation intervals set to 60 minutes 3. For each 60 minute aggregation interval we have six sample intervals of 10 minutes (6x10min=60min) 4. Every 10 minutes the state of the PC is recorded (see tables in figure 1) 5. The predominant state for the aggregation interval is reported up In Figure 1 we can see that between 4am and 5am the PCs predominant state was logged as low power state (state box 1), this is before a user has started work for the day. Between 12noon and 1pm the predominant state was locked (state box 2), the user could be on lunch, and in the afternoon between 3pm and 4pm the predominant state was logged on with user activity (state box 3). This indicates the PC is in use. Other states when the PC is not in use are locked and logged on with no user activity. If the PCs has spent a significant period of time in either of these states this indicates that the device could be more aggressively power managed. If the PC is logged off, locked or in a low power state all of the time this indicates that the device could be decommissioned.

Figure 1: Diagram of how PC usage data is collected.

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The PC Estate Profiler reports
There is currently three reports out-the-box – a yearly, weekly and daily report. Reporting on hardware utilization will be extended in future releases. If additional information is required before the next release custom reports can be put together with the help of 1E Professional Services. The yearly and weekly reports These reports can be used to identify unused hardware in your estate. The reports display hardware utilization broken down by month/ day, based on a selected location and calendar year/ week. Data is broken down by desktop/ laptop split, and shows, per month, a breakdown of the percentage of used and unused PCs, the number of used desktops and laptops, and the total number of PCs which have reported hardware utilization for that period.

Figure 2: The yearly report- all locations

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The yearly and weekly report also include a break-down by sub-location showing the average percentage of used/ unused PCs during the year/ week, the number of used desktops and laptops and the “high-water mark”. The high-water mark is the highest value seen (for used/ unused PCs) in that sub-location for any particular month/ day.

Figure 3: The yearly report- utilization by sub-location The weekly report offers a drill-down by day.

Figure 4: The week report: showing the daily drill-down © 1E 2013

The daily report This report should be used to set power policies by locations. For example, by filtering the report by department you could see for example, sales and marketing generally work 9am to 7pm but engineering works 10am to 8pm. Power policies can be set accordingly. The daily report displays, for a selected location and day, the number of used desktops, used laptops and unused PCs, broken down by hour of the day. The hour of the day is based on the local time of each PC, not UTC time. It also displays a “before noon” and “after noon” summary, showing the number of used desktops, used laptops and unused PCs for each half of the day.

Figure 5: The daily report

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Whilst undertaking research for this feature, it was clear that many organizations today do not know how many PCs they have deployed and if they are being used. Having the ability to monitoring hardware utilization within you organizations is a powerful tool which can realize many benefits. Highlighting periods of inactivity across your PC estate allows you to apply more granular power policies and schemes for these periods. Identifying unused PCs based on user activity means you can safely remove unused hardware, thus reducing your administrative overhead and maintenance costs. If you would like to discuss this feature in more detail please get in touch with a 1E ActiveEfficiency expert today.

© 1E 2013