unplug zombie serversDoes your server room sound louder than it should? Is your IT infrastructure working hard to help you increase profits, or are the sounds of “zombie” servers working against you?  A zombie server is a physical server that is running but is no longer used and provides no IT value, essentially consuming electricity but serving no useful purpose.  It is estimated that one in three servers in North America fall into this “undead” category.  Given the odds, there is high likelihood that your organization could have one of these server that are no longer doing anything and could be decommissioned.  IT is not only at the center of your organization’s operations, it is also a key line item in your budget.  You certainly do not want to cut corners when budgeting for your IT needs; but are you wasting money on equipment that is giving you no value?  Enter the nefarious “zombie” server.  According to the Wall Street Journal it is estimated that 10,000,000 unused servers remain plugged in and drawing power.  Up to 4 gigawatts of power is consumed by these machines, the equivalent needed to power 3,200,000 households.

Zombie servers are not only draining on electric bills.  Costs associated with cooling/heating server rooms and data centers, leasing space, network ports, SAN connections, backups, monitoring, operating system licenses, database licensing, maintenance agreements, administration and support add up.  In fact, according to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, the average cost to support a mid-tier server is $2,000 per year.

IT needs change over time and so does the infrastructure to support it.  It is not uncommon that IT equipment gets lost in the shuffle and organizations soon forget what the original purpose of a particular piece of equipment actually was.  Perhaps someone believes the equipment could be decommissioned, but fear of creating downtime, or interrupting something that may be relevant prevents this from occurring.  In reality, many servers can be repurposed, licenses put back into the pool, and physical parts and storage space reclaimed.

Think about the efforts you go through to cut costs.  You should not continue to overlook this potential drain on resources.  While you realize now that identification and eradication of zombies is important, even in a small business it could easily add up to many thousands of dollars.  We understand that you don’t have the time or expertise to go through and audit servers in search of zombies.

A partner like SolutionWorx can help guide you in evaluating all aspects of your IT infrastructure.  As experts in the area of IT cost optimization, we can not only identify where zombie servers are wasting your IT budget dollars; we can help you strategically procure or negotiate your complex IT infrastructure needs.  Don’t let zombie servers feed on your bottom-line, contact SolutionWorx today!