Active Directory can trim your campus energy expense

Automatically powering down dormant computers will save money and energy without disrupting work. If you would like to adopt that practice in your part of UC Davis, Active Directory can help.

Anyone using Active Directory, a Microsoft product available in uConnect and elsewhere on campus, can apply its power-saving Group Policy feature to manage computer workstation energy use more efficiently.

An Active Directory stores information and data about networks and domains, to help them run efficiently. Various UC Davis departments operate their own Active Directories. UConnect--a unified communications and collaboration service offered by Information and Educational Technology that incorporates email, phone services, and more--includes Active Directory among its features and functions.

Administrators can use Group Policy to establish specific settings on workstations they oversee, including display and sleep settings when machines are idle. "It is a simple way to save money and energy," said Paul Singh, uConnect service manager. "You do not have to be a uConnect customer. Any Active Directory has this feature."

Read more about how to apply the power-saving aspect of Active Directory here. To explore the idea further, contact your department's technical support staff; find a list of technical contacts by clicking on the "TSC Directory" link at tsp.ucdavis.edu. Questions may also be directed to the IT Express Computing Services Help Desk at 530-754-HELP (4357).

The University of California, as part of its budget-cutting strategy, pared its energy costs by $25 million for fiscal year 2010-11. Thriftier use of computers can play a part. The tactic can save up to $50 per computer per year, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates.