In August, the NRDC (Natural Resource Defense Council) published a study, “America’s Data Centers Consuming Massive and Growing Amounts of Electricity” identifying how massive amounts of energy are used in data centers in the United States and specifically discussed the need for tighter controls on dormant servers ~ or as we have previously referred to them as Zombies (see Zombies).
In the short, the NRDC has estimated that as many as a full 1/3rd of servers are drawing power but no longer used by the organization for any production. To make matters worse, a single watt of power drawn at the server is estimated to consume 2.2 watts total between the server itself, transmission losses, and cooling requirements. Finally, older servers (those most likely to be dormant) were inherently less energy efficient at idle. The end result is nearly 40% of all data center energy usage is simply waste.
So how did we get ourselves in this situation. The problem is actually extremely pervasive, many servers are abandoned because the data center inventory is not kept up to date. Over time, the data center team loses track of where servers are physically located and don’t know what applications are running on what machines.
In a mission critical data center, nobody is going to take the risk of un-plugging an un-documented machine. It’s simply too risky.
Asset Vue, works with data center managers to tag and track energy-draining assets before they go “missing.” The value Asset Vue brings is to automate the inventory and audit process which greatly increases the odds that the inventory will be kept current and up to date.