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Are Zombies Sucking the Life Out of Your Data Center?

Zombies in the Data Center can cost your organization hundreds of thousands of dollars, and all for no reason more than poor oversight. This cost can make it harder for IT to get more funding from the business, moreover, and that cycle can then make it harder for IT to stay on top of new business requirements. This article by Thor Olavsrud utilizes the insights of Paul Goodison, CEO of Cormant (and infrastructure management company). Goodison explains how just a 10 to 30 percent “dead server” status can cost a company $800,000 a year – and that’s a cost that no CIO can afford to ignore. But how can that kind of money just leave an organisation without anyone doing something about it? As Goodison explains: Goodison says zombies tend to happen for one of two reasons. The first is that a server is lightly commissioned by the business for a period of time and becomes a line item in a spreadsheet somewhere. Over time, the need for the application on that server goes away, but there is no tieback to any physical process to decommission it, or if the decommissioning process does take place, it is only partially completed. “The decom doesn’t happen because they’re not absolutely sure it’s the right server,” he says. “They say, ‘We’ll leave that one for now and come back to it.’ Then they never come back to it.”
The first step is getting the data center under control: documentation of physical equipment, records of network data, and connections are the key to knowing what is being used and what is not. Next, perform analyzing logical information like power draw, CPU utilization, and network traffic. These can help you find out which servers are a zombie and allow you to decommission them, saving money.

About Richard Wood

Richard Wood has been the publisher of CAI's Accelerating IT Success newsletter since its inception in 2011. A Marketing Major at Cal Poly Pomona he has been working with Computer Aid since 2001. He can be reached at richard_wood@compaid.com

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