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How to Run a Leaner, Greener Data Center.

by on June 22, 2010

Deadbeat servers can impose needless expenses on a data center. Decommissioning a single dead, or “ghost” server, can save as much $560 a year, although some analysts put that figure upwards of $2,000. For large server farmsfarms with 100,000 servers a morethat could amount to substantial savings. If 10 percent of those servers are serving no recognizable purpose, that would amount to savings of $5.6 – 20 million a year.

Bl_adm_2B_(datacenter-dollar) “Contrary to popular belief, one of the largest causes of energy and IT operational waste in data centers are servers that are simply not being used,” observed Sumir Karayi, CEO of 1E,  sponsors of a global study of server managers published in October last year. In fact, this new study reveals that under-utilized servers are costing business worldwide up to $25 billion annually.

“The savings from decommissioning non-productive service cannot be ignored,” he continued. “Organizations need better information on server efficiency and more effective ongoing server energy management.”

Decommissioning useless service can save energy, allow software licenses to be used elsewhere in the organization, reduce maintenance costs and decrease cooling costs.

To maximize the benefits of decommissioning servers, the process should be managed and not preformed in an ad hoc manner. Underutilized servers should be redeployed to places in the organization where they can be more effective and efficient. Virtualization can be used to take underused servers off-line. Once off-line, the server should be recycled and recovery income used to finance replacement hardware.

When decommissioning a server, it should be remembered that it may be more beneficial to take the box off-line before it reaches the end of its life and it still has value. In addition, you may be able to take advantage of incentive programs offered by makers of competitive hardware that will reduce the cost of replacing the old server.

And (sorry for the plug) but this is where our Archived Data Manager product fits in perfectly when it comes to safely decomissioning backup servers while protecting the backup data. Archived Data Manager allows you to rapidly extract and index data from historical backup catalogs and safely decommission those servers while remaining compliant. You can also restore information directly from Archived Data Manager, so there is never a need to keep the old backup programs.

I’d be curious to know however, how many of your servers are being fully utilized? Do you have a plan to bring efficieny to your datacenter? Or is this even a concern for you?

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