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Don't Leave the Light On: Conservation for Computers

By Robert Poleszak

Published February 25, 2014

No one wants to hurt the environment, but conserving energy is difficult when you potentially need to access your computer 24/7. Thanks to UB’s Wake On LAN (WOL) service, on-campus computers can once again enjoy a sound sleep unless needed.  

“One of my colleagues told me I was killing polar bears by leaving my machine on, and I love polar bears...”
Jerry Bucklaew, Network Architect
Network and Classroom Services (NCS)

Robert Poleszak (UB Student, Class of 2014) is a senior marketing student who hails from Brooklyn, NY. In his free time, he enjoys reading, swimming and binge watching sitcoms on Netflix. Upon graduating in May, he hopes to write for advertising agencies in New York City.

Prior to WOL, many IT staff at UB were forced to leave their computers on at all times, just in case. “One of my colleagues told me I was killing polar bears by leaving my machine on, and I love polar bears,” said Jerry Bucklaew, Senior Network Architect with Network and Classroom Services (NCS). “But there are hundreds of IT professionals who need to access our computers remotely.” 

Sweet Dreams

Jerry introduced the idea of WOL, which allows staff to put their machines to sleep unless woken remotely.  “How WOL works is there are a few machines on campus that can send out a specific type of data packet,” Jerry stated. “The packets are sent to any machine that needs to be woken up. Once received, the computer's ready to be run remotely.”

WOL wasn’t introduced at UB earlier due to a number of security concerns. “WOL wasn't feasible until new security features came out to support it, and a campus wise equipment update was made.” Jerry added. “This was crucial to this initiative’s success.”

A Perfect Fit for UB

WOL is ideal for environments like UB’s Public Computing Sites. These sites have hundreds of machines requiring regular updates, most of which are done during overnight hours when students’ lives won’t be interrupted. Thanks to WOL, these computers can now conserve their energy when not actively in use, instead of staying on at all times.

The WOL initiative offers UB a huge decrease in idle power consumption. According to Kathleen Murphy, Service Manager with NCS, “The estimated annual savings for powering down 500 computers for just 8 hours adds up to over $35,000 a year. WOL not only saves dollars for UB, but helps save the planet.”

If you’re interested in learning how WOL can benefit your department at UB, please contact Jerry Bucklaew for more information.