Some 30% of all servers are in operation in data centres despite the fact that they are actually no longer required. This was the finding of a study conducted by the consulting company Anthesis Group in collaboration with Jonathan Koomay, a research fellow at Stanford University.
The reasons why these servers are not shut down range from the running of unused or redundant applications to applications that only continue to be run for historical reasons and programs that are incorporated in complex procedures that no one in the company understands anymore.
These servers are a major cost factor for companies. They not only use up power, but also need to be maintained, as well as kept available and secure by the relevant administrator. The IT department imports updates for the operating system and the running applications, and in many cases, the hardware is even upgraded as part of the company’s standard procurement cycles.
Virtualisation may cut costs, but it doesn’t resolve the problem. Because there’s no point virtualising something that’s not needed. Instead, the study recommends working together with independent, neutral consultants on a comprehensive inventory to identify and decommission redundant servers.