Canadian Manufacturing

‘Comatose’ servers are sapping productivity

Global sustainability consultancy Anthesis Group says 10 million servers have not delivered information or computing services in six months


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EMERYVILLE, Calif.—New research examining server utilization suggests about 30 per cent of the servers used in IT operations worldwide are “comatose.”

Indeed, global sustainability consultancy Anthesis Group says its findings indicate about 10 million servers have not delivered information or computing services in six months or more.

The research was conducted with Jonathan Koomey, Research Fellow at Stanford University, using data from TSO Logic, a company that develops energy efficiency software for servers.

The 10 million estimated comatose servers translates into at least $30 billion in data center capital sitting idle globally (assuming an average server cost of $3,000, while ignoring infrastructure capital costs as well as operating costs).

“Far too many businesses have massive Information Technology (IT) infrastructure inefficiencies of which they are not even aware,” said Jon Taylor, Partner at Anthesis Group. “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.”

Dr. Koomey, a researcher, consultant, and lecturer on the energy and environmental impacts of technology, says, “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.”

Koomey adds, “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.”

Read the full findings at Anthesis Group’s website.


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