Shawn Bass wrote a good blog about the new PowerSmart Utility

In his blog, he explained his take on our choice of of using WinRm and server vendors’s out of band management products. It’s a good read.

One thing I need to clarify is that it is fairly simple to configure this version of PowerSmart to power on HP servers if you follow the user guide. We’d like to hear your experience and improve the tool and its documentation.

Shawn was right that if you just want to give the tool a quick try without reading much, the out of the box default configuration will allow you to try it without much restriction. It will even work in a virtualized environment.  Please see the minimum requirement section of the download page. The trade-off however is that this default configuration won’t power on servers. A good default power on mechanism is hard to find because user environments are likely to be very different.  The included HP script won’t work with IBM servers for example. We thought this default is a safer option and it can lead the users to think about the best way to power on servers. Plus this default makes it easier for users to have an alternative mechanism to power on servers. For example, users can use windows scheduler to schedule a script to power on servers. Yes, the HP scripts we provided can be easily modified to do so.

We thought about using Wake On LAN as default. But we soon realized that it has many limitations too. Please see the FAQ page for more details. However If you know WOL well or you can get some experts such as Shawn to help, it may very well work for you.  I heard a large company had successfully used WOL to save millions of dollars by powering off idle desktops. In the data center, I expect administrators may have more control over the servers and thus WOL may have a higher chance to be useful.

Please share your experience with others so that we can benefit from each other.