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New study shows a staggering 4.7 million servers globally are doing nothing useful, wasting $25bn a year


Three Quarters of Server Managers Polled Believe One Sixth of Their Servers are not Doing any Useful Work

London & New York Friday 16th October 2009 – 1E, a leading provider of software and services which reduce organizations’ IT costs and environmental footprint, today announced the results of an independent global study of server managers. The study, conducted by Kelton Research, commissioned in association with the Alliance to Save Energy,revealed that the world’s largest IT departments have millions of servers that are not doing anything useful.

“Contrary to popular belief, one of the largest causes of energy and IT operational waste in data centers are servers that are simply not being used. The savings from decommissioning non-productive servers cannot be ignored. Organisations need better information on server efficiency and more effective ongoing server energy management.” comments Sumir Karayi, CEO, 1E.

“At 1E, we have always looked at IT inefficiency as an opportunity for innovation. Nearly 10 years ago we pioneered PC Power Management and have since saved our clients over $300m in energy costs alone. We are delighted to share our latest research findings on server energy and efficiency with you and hope that the results provoke action. We are also pleased to announce NightWatchman Server Edition, which addresses the issues highlighted,” concludes Karayi.

The key findings from the 1E/Alliance to Save Energy study are:

  • 15% or more servers are not doing anything useful according to 72% of server managers
  • Over eight in ten (83%) admit that they do not have an adequate grasp of server utilization
  • 72% of server managers polled admitted that they rely on CPU utilization as their measure of server efficiency. (Note: a CPU is busy whether the server is providing a service to the business or doing routine maintenance tasks which provide no business value)
  • 63% rely on manual checks, trial and error or wait until something is broken to find unused servers
  • 65% have virtualized unused servers and almost one in three (32%) state that they are actively seeking a solution to virtual server sprawl
  • 41% are concerned about and a further 43% are using change control procedures or software to manage virtual server sprawl, a phenomenon where a disproportionate number of virtual servers have low or zero utilization
  • 75% admit that their company’s mandate to deliver high levels of IT service internally get in the way of measuring and improving server efficiency

“With U.S. data center energy consumption at an all time high, it’s only logical that we reconsider how we are using IT resources. An unnecessary amount of data servers are ‘plugged in’ 24/7 in an age when power-saving tools are available to businesses. Faced with a fast-moving regulatory environment – including the U.S. climate bill, pending EPA data center initiatives and the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen – the U.S. IT sector may soon be under greater scrutiny for its power consumption. We’ll want to say ahead of the curve and make smart, energy-efficient changes where we can,” says Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy.

The study of global server managers was conducted by Kelton Research in September 2009i.

i The 1E/Alliance to Save Energy Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between September 17th and September 23rd, 2009 using an email invitation and an online survey, among 100 IT professionals who work with servers at global companies with 10,000 employees or more.

  • DResults of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.
  • In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 9.8 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

Media Contact

Namita Tendolkar,
Communications for 1E

[email protected]

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