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Should I consider implementing Wake on LAN in my Network?

Posted on 2012-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-04-04
I've been toying with the idea of trying to use WOL on our corporate network for workstations. We have around 60-70 PC's many of which never get turned off. I was thinking that using WOL and having the computer go to sleep after 90 minutes could save a decent amount on the electric bill.

My concerns are that some users connect to our VPN and then RDP into their workstations and how WOL may affect that. As well our Symantec Endpoint Protection updates typically go out overnight.

Has anyone else used WOL across their network and was it more pain than it was worth?
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Question by:AIC-Admin
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by:Keith Alabaster
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To be honest it was exactly that - more pain than it was worth. An alternative was putting in place a generally green policy which was not issued by IT but by the directors of the business.

e.g. Switching off of all monitors, printers, computers excluding servers, personal fans, lights etc before leaving the building unless notification that IT maintenance routines were to be run such as overnight updates. An audit was undertaken at least once a week by a senior manager on varying evenings to check that this was being complied with.

If users want to VPN in they will leave a note on their desktop stating this will be the case (still doesn't need their monitor(s) to be on). Again, on a periodic basis this is verified by the audit log on a few individual users.

This has led to an annual reduction of circa 8% on our electricity bill - not mega but with over three thousand devices (many had dual monitors as well) the financial return made it a significant gain for reasonably little effort.
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by:AIC-Admin
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Keith-
To my knowledge the only updates that go out to PC's at night is antivirus updates and possibly windows updates. Do you have issues with updates not being applied or anything like that having users shut off their systems at night? I think your solution may be the best option until something more standardized comes to market.
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Keith Alabaster earned 500 total points
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No - our AV updates are applied every 15 minutes during the 'turned on' period so this is an extremely small window in which we might get hit by day-one attacks... and to be honest, most of my group seem to go grab a coffee whilst the machine starts up anyway. We did get a few gripes in the very beginning from the first person who tried to print things and then realised that the printers had not been turned back on but that was only for a short period whilst the new procedure sank in.

As for MS updates we deploy those on a weekly basis as part of policy - after UAT/system testing - and we schedule these so some are actuually for the most part sent during the day. Some are not fully active until the next shut down/reboot but we regulate it all via WSUS although I know a number of my peers do theirs via group policy scheduling.
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by:AIC-Admin
ID: 37808196
Thanks for the notes. We used to have a "shutdown" policy but our old PC's took about 15 minutes to boot up so no one shut down... we are in the process of upgrading all of them maybe we will give that another try now.
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by:Keith Alabaster
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Welcome :)
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