Study Finds 4.7 Million Servers Wasted

[DEK] World’s largest IT departments have millions of servers ‘doing nothing useful’

By Mel Duvall

A study of some of the world’s largest IT shops has found that millions of servers are not performing useful tasks, wasting about $25 billion a year.

In fact, a large majority of the data center managers interviewed believe as many as one sixth of their servers may be sitting idle or not performing work they term as useful.The study, conducted by the Alliance to Save Energy and 1E, an IT services company that specializes in helping companies reduce their environmental footprint, concludes companies can be doing a much better job of ensuring their servers are fully utilized.

“With U.S. data center energy consumption at an all time high, it’s only logical that we consider how we are using our IT resources,” Alliance President Kateri Callahan said in releasing the study.“An unnecessary amount of data servers are plugged in 24/7 in an age when power-saving tools are available to businesses.”

The study of global data center managers was conducted in September of 2009. Other key findings include:

·More than eight in ten (83%) of server managers admit they do not have an adequate grasp of server utilization

·72% say they rely on CPU utilization as their measure of server efficiency. However, a CPU may register it is being utilized even if it is doing routine tasks providing no business value.

·63% rely on manual checks, trial and error, or wait until something is broken to find unused servers.

·75% admit that their company’s mandate to deliver high levels of IT service internally can get in the way of measuring and improving server efficiency.

Callahan said with many jurisdictions weighing energy consumption and climate-protection legislation, the under utilization of servers could face greater scrutiny. “We’ll want to stay ahead of the curve and make smart, energy-efficient changes where we can,” she said.

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