Frequently Asked Questions About WiserWatts

WiserWatts, the innovative energy-saving solution developed by CAE Labs, is specifically designed to eliminate energy waste within your IT estate. Now, you may be wondering how exactly this solution works and what benefits it can bring to your organisation. In order to answer these commonly asked questions, we've compiled some key information from our customer base. 

Authored by Ali McKeand, Chief Technologist - Innovation at CAE Technology Services. 

So, what are the advantages of using WiserWatts? 

The primary benefit of implementing WiserWatts is the significant reduction of energy waste by optimising IT according to your business's operational needs. After conducting extensive research and development for over two years, our CAE Labs team has discovered that almost every organisation, regardless of industry, has the potential to save on energy consumption. As a result, this not only helps to minimise running costs but also has a direct positive impact on reducing carbon emissions. 

But that's not all - there are other remarkable benefits too: 

  • Enhanced security: By ensuring that the wireless network remains inactive during non-business hours, the likelihood of unauthorised access attempts is significantly reduced. This is particularly valuable in sectors such as retail and hospitality, where after-hours loitering can disturb the surrounding residential areas, potentially leading to unwelcome police involvement. 
  • Improved performance: Some of our satisfied customers have reported noticeable performance improvements resulting from the daily hardware cycling facilitated by WiserWatts. 

Will powering off network services affect business operations? 

Rest assured, utilising WiserWatts to power off your network should not have any adverse impact on your business operations. Everything will continue to function seamlessly as normal, provided that you have performed a thorough due diligence process before activation. This involves identifying specific areas of the network that are not required during certain times. It is crucial to determine the connectivity requirements for critical systems that necessitate round-the-clock access, such as BMS solutions, alarm systems, CCTV, Meraki MT Environmental Sensors, and any other applications deemed essential for 24/7 operation. 

It's important to note that with WiserWatts, you always remain in control. You have the flexibility to make changes to your settings as needed, as our platform offers granular control over individual devices that can be powered on and off. 

Based on our experience, we recommend starting with a Proof of Value rather than immediately implementing a blanket power policy across your entire business. This approach allows you to evaluate the effectiveness and benefits of WiserWatts before proceeding with any plans to expand or scale up. 

What about the issue of false positive alerts from networking devices going offline and creating unnecessary tickets/incidents in our ITSM? 

Don't worry, this will not be a problem with WiserWatts. Our solution automatically enables a feature called "mute notification" on each network and configuration template, ensuring that IT teams and service desks do not receive alerts during the daily power cycling procedure. While this capability is currently available for Cisco Meraki Wireless only, CAE Labs has developed a solution that can condition and suppress other notifications if required. 

What if we need to update and patch the firmware on our networking equipment or connecting devices? 

With the WiserWatts platform, you can easily disable the powering off schedule temporarily. This provides you with a maintenance window to upgrade the firmware of your devices whenever necessary, ensuring that your network remains up to date. 

Will the longevity of our hardware be affected? 

WiserWatts has been effectively powering on and off thousands of devices each day without any negative impact on their longevity. We have been actively collaborating with Cisco Meraki on this, and in the event of a possible hardware failure, regardless of the cause, the standard warranty and RMA process will be initiated to address the issue. 

If you encounter any problems, rest assured that by following the warranty and RMA process and seeking assistance from the Cisco Meraki technical support team, you will remain warranty-compliant. 

What changes occur in the wireless channel and power levels when Wi-Fi access points start each day? Does this affect AutoRF?

No, a Cisco Meraki MR Wireless AP stores the channel selection and transmit power levels for up to 7 days, AutoRF will initialise upon start up and if there have been any surrounding changes (e.g. neighbouring Wi-Fi) then the Wireless APs will automatically optimise as needed. 

How long does it typically take for the network to start providing connectivity in the morning after a power on? 

This is generally hardware dependant, however, we suggest building in a power on window of at least 10 minutes for Wi-Fi connectivity to return back for business operations. The WiserWatts and Meraki platform supports intervals of 30-minute segments for powering on, therefore if you need Wi-Fi connectivity from 7.30am the scheduled power on would need to be set on WiserWatts for 7am. 

We also recommend that all Wireless Access Points are statically assigned with an IP address rather than relying on DHCP each morning and the influx or requests that could potentially cause. 

If you want to delve deeper into the capabilities and advantages of WiserWatts, we encourage you to read more about it. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to our team of experts at CAE Labs with any additional questions you may have. We are here to assist you every step of the way. 

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