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‘Zombie’ servers are draining energy and money

The industrial electrical energy  industry has an MVP that isn't pulling its weight.

The industrial electrical energy industry has an MVP that isn't pulling its weight.

A recent study has revealed that approximately 30 percent of all servers physically present in data centers are "comatose," meaning that they are using energy but don't provide useful information or haven't accomplished a task for a minimum of six months.The large amount of servers that match these characteristics indicates the quality of data center management and operation.

About 91 billion kilowatt-hours of energy were consumed by U.S. data centers alone in 2013. Researchers expect that number to reach a 53 percent increase by 2020 and estimate that usage could be reduced by 40 percent, which would improve energy efficiency and cuts costs by $3.8 billion, if they identify and toss out the zombie servers.

The nation currently requires 34 power plants capable of generating a total of 500 megawatts to power all the operating data centers. If they waste 53 percent more energy, the U.S. will need an additional 17 power plants to meet the energy demands as economic activity digitizes further. If the centers use any more fossil fuels to emit electricity, carbon emissions will also increase.

Large data centers controlled by cloud providers take up about 5 percent of all data center energy usage. The real problem lies within the thousands of mainstream business and government data centers as well as small, corporate centers. 

Industrial electricity uses aren't really a booming area except for data centers, which are the main factor in the demand for new power plants in a few parts of the country. However, IT managers have been cautious about implementing energy sustainability programs too aggressively because they're worried they might threaten uptime. But an expansive application of the utilization metrics within the industry would give significant visibility into IT efficiency, which would create better market incentives for operators to utilize their IT assets responsibly.

If you need help with IT support solutions for your small or midsize organization, reach out to a Stamford IT consultant from TEKConn.