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Green IT: Spotlight on Adam Linder

November 15, 2018

Adam Linder has been at Penn for almost 7 years, with all of that time spent in the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) Computing department.

Back in 2017, Brittany Gross and Sara King, Sustainability Coordinators for SAS, reached out to Adam’s department to ask if there was potential for energy savings in SAS Computing. “Over time,” Adam says, “the project morphed from shutting a small pilot group of Windows computers down on the weekend into putting nearly our entire installbase of desktops into high-efficiency sleep mode during off-peak hours.” The School of Arts and Sciences uses an IBM desktop management software called BigFix, and Adam leveraged some existing features of BigFix and also wrote some custom code for the energy-saving program.

There are currently over 1,800 computers enrolled in the program. The enrolled computers go into “standby” sleep mode between 5pm and 8am if no one is logged in, or if the user is logged in but has been idle for more than 30 minutes. “This allows people to stay logged into their computers and not have to close out of documents at the end of the day, but still participate in the power savings,” Adam says.

Additionally, the BigFix software can track computer power usage, so SAS has been able to calculate its annual savings attributed to the GreenIT initiative. Thanks to this program, SAS is saving 370 tons of carbon and about 500,000 kilowatt-hours annually. This savings is equivalent to the carbon emissions from about 200 cross-country flights, or the equivalent of the annual carbon emissions from the electricity needed for Claudia Cohen Hall, an 80,000 square foot classroom and office building in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Learn more about the program at https://www.sas.upenn.edu/computing/green-it.

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