A healthy recipe for your servers

Servers are organisms that need managing and nurturing properly, otherwise the data center will get peppered with energy hungry boxes that aren’t doing any useful work. If you don’t keep track of your server estate you may find that you are wasting energy (which can never be retrieved) and eating up your budget unnecessarily.

How do you manage the number of servers you have in the business and how much power they digest? Do you take an ‘educated’ guess by putting your finger in the air, do you manage them on an excel spreadsheet or do you use a server power management tool that can give you accurate reports, not just on the numbers of servers you possess but their usefulness and value they add to the business?

It’s like this: imagine if a data center was your body, and each pound of weight was a server. What would you do to shed those extra few pounds that make you sluggish and less energetic? Some of those pounds will be fat, inefficient and surplus to requirements yet still in need of nourishment. The same goes for your inefficient servers in the data center, they’ll still consume energy, still need cooling and still need maintaining whether or not they are doing useful work.

Server administrators know there are non-useful servers in the enterprise, whether they’ve provisioned the business with a slew of servers that have yet to be operational for a new project or for a project that has been pulled. It’s a matter of finding which ones are useful and having visibility of those which are not contributing to the value of the business has been trickier. It’s likely that these administrators generally haven’t given it much thought, opting to add more server capacity as the business grows rather than taking the effort to increase usage of existing assets.

But waking up to the fact that it generally costs thousands of dollars to power, license and maintain a server – useful or not – and the knowledge that most can expect to find around 15% of servers are not doing any useful work at all, administrators are looking at how to identify this spare capacity, save money and reduce the constant increase in energy and associated CO2 emissions.

Using server power management software helps organizations slimdown their presence in data centers with very little physical effort. By identifying where nothing is being gained from the power consumed, administrators can make informed decisions about what to do, whether to decommission assets too old to sensibly repurpose, or recycle for future use.

Andy Hawkins, Product Manager NightWatchman Server Edition, 1E
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