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Are comatose servers as rampant as we thought?

In this latest insight Jon Taylor, Partner at the Anthesis Group updates us on the state of comatose servers and updates us on the research published in 2015.

Last year Johnathan Koomey and I published a short paper with preliminary findings regarding the general size of the comatose server problem in enterprise IT environments. If you missed that paper, we define comatose servers as those “in the sample that have delivered no information or compute services in 6 months or more.” We estimated that many of the 12 million US servers operate most of the time doing little of nor work but still drawing on power, with up to 30% of servers are “comatose” and no longer needed but still draw on significant amounts of power.

We have recently received an updated and expanded data set. The data set has grown from close to four thousand physical servers to more than sixteen thousand physical servers AND additional information on thirty-two thousand virtual machine instances. Our analysis is not yet complete but we expect to release results this year. From the data reviewed so far the initial results reported last year do not appear to be an anomaly. Assuming this is true it again highlights the importance of data center and IT infrastructure management.

My suggestion? If you have even a moderately sized IT infrastructure consider taking Koomey’s online course Modernizing Enterprise Data Centers for Fun and Profit to familiarize yourself with techniques for mapping costs and performance of IT in terms of business key performance indicators.

Keep your eyes out for our updated results before the end of this year.

To find out more about the upcoming research please contact Jon Taylor, Jon.taylor@anthesisgroup.com

Jonathan Koomey is a Reaserch Fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University to find out more about Jon please click here or follow him on twitter @jgkoomey.

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