30% Of Servers Are Sitting “Comatose” According To Research


Publish Date:
June 3, 2015
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In this Forbes article, Ben Kepes discusses findings on server usage conducted by Steyer-Taylor Center Research Fellow Jonathan Koomey.

It has long been suggested that the move to the cloud would increase efficiency for organizations. Since lots of IT assets (be they software or physical hardware) see little utilization, the theory goes that putting IT in the cloud ties usage closely to available resources.

A new study from Anthesis Group and a Stanford University Researcher suggests that in the hardware space, in particular, server utilization is worse than we thought.

The research was conducted by Jonathan Koomey, Research Fellow at Stanford University, using data from TSO Logic. If Koomey’s name rings a bell with cloud watchers, it is probably because he did some interesting work creating a TCO calculator that I covered a few years ago.

Koomey is back and in this study he was trying to get a handle on how much data center capacity sits idle. The core findings of the study are based on a sample of anonymized data and revealed that 30 percent of the physical servers were “comatose.” In this instance, comatose servers are those that have not delivered information or computing services in six months or more. To anyone in the cloud world, a server sat six months doing nothing is well beyond comatose, but I digress.

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