Choose which NightWatchman power-down actions are suitable for your organization.

Some thought should be given to which NightWatchman power-down action is most suitable for your organization. This is largely a matter of personal preference, depending on the impact on the user and the type of hardware and software used. The following are the pros and cons for each of these events.

The complete set of NightWatchman switches is detailed in NightWatchman command-line switches.

Power-down actionProsCons
Hibernate
  • Is able to work on an idle timer
  • Less intrusive to the end user
  • Relatively quick to go into sleep (writing to disk) and resume (slower because disk is read into memory)
  • Applications and open files are kept open but stored to disk and therefore immune to power failures
  • Computers can wake themselves on a timer.
  • Will lose any open connections
  • Some third-party applications may lose data or fail on resumption when remote connections are used
  • Some hardware refuses either to sleep or wake up again afterwards
  • With Windows XP in conjunction with older hardware there generally are more issues
  • Over time the OS memory footprint will grow and the computer will become slower.
Standby
  • Is able to work on an idle timer
  • Less intrusive to the end user
  • Quick to go into sleep and resume, depending on the computer
  • Applications and open files are kept open
  • Computers can wake themselves on a timer.
  • Will lose any open connections
  • Some third-party applications may lose data or fail on resumption when remote connections are used
  • Open files will not be saved if the computer runs out of power during sleep - specifically for Windows XP desktop computers as Windows Vista uses hybrid sleep and laptops will wake to hibernate the computer when battery power is low
  • Some hardware refuses either to sleep or wake up again afterwards
  • Over time the OS memory footprint will grow and the computer will become slower.
PowerOff
  • Computer is always in a known state, it will either be on or off
  • Always running a fresh memory structure on startup
  • Will refresh connections on startup
  • Ensures that open documents are saved on logoff
  • Helps in the scenario where patching requires a restart of the OS
  • This option leaves the computer in the safest state in regard to power supply issues.
  • Requires that Wake On LAN is configured and working to enable out of hours patching
  • Takes the longest time to get back to an on state
  • A script is needed for every application that may be running on the computer at the point of logoff
  • Shutdowns can only be set for a specific time, they cannot be triggered by an idle timer.
Reboot
  • Computer is always in a known state, on
  • Always running a fresh memory structure on startup
  • Will refresh connections on startup
  • Ensures that open documents are saved on logoff
  • Helps in the scenario where patching requires a restart of the OS.
  • A script is needed for every application that may be running on the computer at the point of logoff
  • Reboots can only be set for a specific time, they cannot be triggered by an idle timer.
Logoff
  • Will refresh connections on logon
  • Ensures that open documents are saved on logoff
  • May be regarded as more secure than standby or hibernate
  • A script is needed for every application that may be running on the computer at the point of logoff
  • Logoffs can only be set for a specific time, they cannot be triggered by an idle timer
  • Over time the OS memory footprint will grow and the computer will become slower.
  • Doesn't save much power.
LogOffThenStandby
  • Same as Logoff but also saves power.
  • Same as Logoff but saves power.