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Decommissioning servers

Everyone looks to save energy these days, at home, in the car, at work. There's a data center equivalent to these energy savings: decommissioning servers.

It's something most companies fail to do, and that's costing them plenty, says Kenneth Brill, founder and executive director of the Uptime Institute, a member-supported data-center advisory service.

"We're adding new servers at the rate of around 16 percent [a year]," he told me. "And if you don't uninstall the old ones, which tends not to happen, then your consumption is going to go up by the rate at which you're adding servers. And therein lies the biggest opportunity for savings, is to uninstall the stuff."

Brill characterized the uninstalling of obsolete technology the "biggest opportunity" to save money. "Up to 30 percent of the servers in a typical data center are no longer in active production, but they're still consuming energy," he said. "They need to be turned off, removed from the racks and disposed of. Unfortunately, efficiency is not cool. Unless senior executives demand the ability to uninstall hardware, the tendency will be to leave the old stuff installed."
The Wild, Wild Cost Of Data Centers

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