Idle servers can cost your company money and time in maintenance, energy costs and infrastructure woes. Yet, according to a recent report published by The Anthesis Group, approximately 10 million servers around the world are offline or dormant. Given that the average server costs around $3,000, researchers estimate the infrastructure capital lost from these servers equals close to $30 billion.
According to tech news website, Gigaom, a 2008 McKinsey study reported that data center utilization was at 6 percent, while a Gartner report from 2012 stated a 12 percent utilization rate.
One of the reasons behind low utilization percentages has to do with the peak-to-average ratio. Often, IT staffers provision hardware to support peak computing loads; however, the majority of the time, loads require significantly less power. So how can organizations improve their server utilization? We've outlined three ways below.
Creating a virtualized environment is one way to increase utilization. Virtualization makes it possible to run many systems and applications on the same server at the same time without worrying about conflicting dependencies. According to CIO.com, 55 to 60 percent utilization is a good target to shoot for.
Organizations can improve their utilization by consolidating servers to a virtualized environment. This can also help improve IT efficiencies and reduce costs associated with space, energy, and cooling.
Like virtualized environments, the cloud is able to run many systems and applications from a single resource without worrying about conflicting dependencies. Because of the large workloads, the peak-to-average ratio is much higher, therefore utilization rates are also higher, averaging about 90% efficiency. Additionally, cloud customers avoid capital expenses on hardware with significantly lower utilization rates.
Managed Network Services
Network measurement and management is integral to optimizing server use. When companies aren't sure how much energy and power their servers are utilizing, managed network services can be an essential tool to help them optimize their computing needs and not overspend on equipment and network maintenance fees.
Jon Taylor, a partner at Anthesis, believes there is a strong need for companies to take a closer look at their computing infrastructure.
"Far too many businesses have massive information technology [and] infrastructure inefficiencies of which they are not even aware," Taylor said. "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."
Before taking on any IT projects, organizations need to make sure the network is being effectively utilized. Contact the IT experts at Pinnacle, an Advanced Imaging Solutions company to discuss your server utilization options today!
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