Wouldn't you Like Your Servers to be Doing Useful Work?

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Wouldn't you Like Your Servers to be Doing Useful Work?
The savings from the adoption of data center efficiency measurement tools are not insignificant – we collectively stand to save $3.8 billion in energy costs alone and $24.7 billion in the total cost of running non-productive servers globallyi.
Utilized or Useful?
According to Gartner (source: Data Center Efficiency and Capacity: A Metric to Calculate Both), a typical x86 server will consume between 60% and 70% of its total power load when running at low utilization levels. Furthermore, according to Gartner’s research, server utilization, especially in x86 environments, is often at the low end of the performance range, averaging between just 7% and 15% in many organizations.
To us here at 1E, this throws up some interesting questions. How many servers out there are actually being used? How efficient are those servers? How many are doing what we call Useful Work and how are organizations measuring server utilization and above all, server energy use and efficiency? Perhaps most importantly, what if you had the ability to put under-utilized servers into a power-saving ‘Drowsy’ profile?
CPU is not enough!
It’s highly likely that your organization may be relying on CPU utilization alone, as a measure of server efficiency. If you consider that a CPU is busy whether the server is providing a service to the business or doing routine maintenance or housekeeping tasks which provide no business value, it is clear that the data center efficiency measurement challenge is highly complex.
Servers at capacity: is buying more tin the only option?
According to a web-based survey of 130 infrastructure and operations managers conducted by Gartner in September 2009, 15 per cent said that their data centers are already at capacity; a concern which will ‘force’ them to build new sites or refurbish existing sites within the next 12 months. However, 1E believes that the chances are that one sixth of those servers are unproductive – so is there another option?
Simply put, yes. 1E's latest solution, NightWatchman® Server Edition, helps differentiate which physical and/or virtual servers are doing useful work and when, so that decisions about decommissioning wasteful servers, controlling virtual server sprawl, consolidation and power management are made much simpler. To the point about controlling virtual server sprawl, it has been said that savings from virtualisation are not a foregone conclusion and risk being eliminated if sprawl isn't controlledii. Useful Work analysis can help organizations manage this potential inefficiency effectively.
Even with productive servers, energy savings can be further enhanced with Drowsy Server® technology and finally, just by using a software solution we can provide accurate analysis of the energy and efficiency of each and every server.
Datacenter Efficiency Measurement: Why 2010 Is the year to take action
Gartner believes that reshaping the datacenter and IT for green initiatives (such as analytic tools that reduce energy consumption) should be key priorities for 2010 in its recent strategic technologies for 2010 roundup (Gartner, October 2009).
Furthermore, according to Gartner, energy management (both in terms of capacity and cost) can only be effective through advanced monitoring, modelling and measuring techniques and processes. One of Gartner’s recommendations is that data centre and IT managers develop a dashboard of data centre energy-efficiency metrics that provides appropriate data to different levels of IT and financial management (Gartner, September 2009).
Thank you for reading and I hope you have found this information useful.
If you would like to understand how 1E can help you reduce the costs and carbon footprint within your organization, please do come and talk to us.
Matt Johnson
Transend Limted