Report Finds That 30% of Servers are “Comatose”

June 3, 2015 | News,

Servers were regarded as comatose if they had not delivered information or computing services for six months or more.

As many as ten million power-hungry computer servers may been idle for at least six months, according to new research from Anthesis and Stanford University researcher, Jonathan Koomey.

The findings suggest that worldwide more than $30 billion in data center capital has been sitting idle.

The core findings are based on a sample of anonymised data from TSO Logic and revealed that 30 percent of the physical servers were “comatose.” Servers were regarded as comatose if they had not delivered information or computing services for six months or more.

This implies that there are about 10 million comatose servers worldwide – including standalone servers and host servers in virtual environments. The findings support previous research performed by the Uptime Institute, which also found that around 30 percent of servers are unused.

At an average cost of $3,000 each, ten million comatose servers translates into at least $30 billion in data center capital sitting idle globally.

At an average cost of $3,000 each, ten million comatose servers translates into at least $30 billion in data center capital sitting idle globally (ignoring infrastructure capital costs and operating costs).

“Far too many businesses have massive IT infrastructure inefficiencies of which they are not even aware,” said Jon Taylor, partner at Anthesis. “These preliminary findings support the idea that ongoing measurement and management of a business’s IT infrastructure is needed to optimize performance, energy use and return-on-investment,” he added.

Dr. Koomey, a researcher, consultant and lecturer on the energy and environmental impacts of technology, said: “In the twenty-first century, every company is an IT company, yet 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.”

He added: “Removing idle servers would result in gigawatt-scale reductions in global IT load, the displaced power use from which could then support new IT loads that actually deliver business value. That’s a result that everyone should cheer.”

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