AR76119With one eye on the bottom line and one on future energy consumption, Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen turned to Cisco to help make their campus a little greener.

With a campus wireless network powered by Cisco products already in place, the university looked towards Cisco switches and the Cisco Energy Management (CEM) suite to bring their energy saving dreams to light. University officials hoped that this idea would reduce their carbon footprint, raise energy efficiency and save a little money along the way.

The plan centered around using Cisco routers and Catalyst switches to power access points and other connected devices. This allowed for greater energy efficiency over the college’s 42 institutions and 30 buildings.

The results were two-fold. Armed with CEM, the network not only improved energy efficiency in the present but also allowed St. Gallen to look at curtailing excess energy consumption in the future. Since the more environmentally friendly network has been up and running, the school has been able to establish baselines for how much power each device consumes. If a device goes over that benchmark, the network is robust enough to enforce energy saving policies, such as shutting down idling PCs.

These policies are instrumental in making sure that the energy is only used when necessary. The easy-to-establish policies reduce the amount of money being spent on utility bills, but it also forces the students to be a bit more energy conscious.

“We developed in-house software scripts to power down our PCs every night,” said Dr. Kurt Städler, Head of IT Infrastructure, University of St. Gallen. “New we use CEM policies to automatically do the same job. We made a 50 percent productivity saving on top of the energy and the carbon gains.”

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Byron Magrane

Product Manager, Marketing