How Idle Servers Cost $30 Billion

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 07-13-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Previous
    How Idle Servers Cost $30 Billion
    Next

    How Idle Servers Cost $30 Billion

    By Karen A. Frenkel
  • Previous
    Wasted Capital
    Next

    Wasted Capital

    The estimated 10 million comatose servers translate into $30 billion in unproductive data center capital (assuming an average server cost of $3,000 and ignoring infrastructure capital and operating costs).
  • Previous
    Call for More Measurement
    Next

    Call for More Measurement

    These findings support the idea that ongoing measurement and management of companies' IT infrastructure is needed to optimize performance, energy use and ROI.
  • Previous
    Potential Savings
    Next

    Potential Savings

    Removing idle servers would result in 4 gigawatts in reductions in global IT load. Displaced power could then support new IT loads that deliver business value and innovations.
  • Previous
    Why Powered Up Servers Sit Idle
    Next

    Why Powered Up Servers Sit Idle

    Servers remain on because it's not known what they're doing at any given time. People figure that if they are not useful today, they will probably be used tomorrow. But years can go by without them processing transactions.
  • Previous
    Server Redundancy
    Next

    Server Redundancy

    How much redundancy is too much? Today, much redundancy can be eliminated because it's built into the app, as opposed to the infrastructure supporting it. Analytics today allow for plant capacity.
  • Previous
    Farms Vs. the Cloud
    Next

    Farms Vs. the Cloud

    With server analytics, companies can determine whether it is more cost efficient to run a transaction in their own data center or in the cloud. If you only do payroll bimonthly, it may make sense to contract the farm and offload background transactions to the cloud when you're not doing payroll, for example.
  • Previous
    Server Huggers Need Management
    Next

    Server Huggers Need Management

    In business, people insist on having their own servers because that makes them feel more secure. In academia, servers are purchased according to grant allocations and budget lines, which can result in a huge capital investment doing nothing. That's a management problem.
  • Previous
    Look at Upstream Traffic
    Next

    Look at Upstream Traffic

    Data center operators should look at upstream traffic or user access information per server from central IT management, virtualization and workload distribution systems. This identifies IT resources not doing useful work so that they can be decommissioned without adding risk to the business.
  • Previous
    Just-in-Time Servers Decrease Licensing Fees
    Next

    Just-in-Time Servers Decrease Licensing Fees

    Using servers only when needed does not just save power. It frees up capacity and results in fewer licensing fees for software.
  • Previous
    Tease Apps Apart
    Next

    Tease Apps Apart

    Server analytics enable you to know how apps are broken down and track how they're processed on computers and when.
  • Previous
    Server Analytics Is a No Brainer
    Next

    Server Analytics Is a No Brainer

    "If you can make improvements without changing what you do, save money, increase capacity, and it's good for the environment, why would you not do it?" asked TSO's Aaron Rallo.
 

Ten million servers in data centers worldwide, including 3.6 million in the U.S., are powered up but idle, according to a new study. The results corroborate previous research by the Uptime Institute since 2006 and McKinsey and Company in 2008, which estimated that up to 30 percent of servers are "comatose." A comatose server is on for six months or more, but crunches no data. The Anthesis Group, a sustainability consultancy, and Jonathan Koomey, an expert on the economics of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at Stanford University, conducted the study. TSO Logic, which provides data center analytics tools, supplied data from 4,000 servers. "Far too little attention is given to IT inefficiencies and to the need for widespread changes in how IT resources are built, provisioned and managed," said Koomey. "Most companies can't map IT onto business processes and calculate the ROI. The challenge for the CIOs is how to get his company to be able to do that." Adds TSO CEO Aaron Rallo, "Data center runners are risk-averse and their emphasis is on making their center both easy to use and secure. They may not be cost-focused, just availability-focused. So they are siloed."

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...