It’s a Zombie (server) Apocalypse!

Well, zombies are very popular right now, and it only was a matter of time before someone figured out how to link Zombies and IT. Well, it happened! An article entitled Zombies Are Killing Your Bottom Line actually turned out to be a relevant and interesting read and I thought I'd summarize a few key points to consider for those of you interested in protecting your bottom line (anyone???).

The key point of the article, which experience tells me is 100% correct, is that the odds are that most businesses have servers running that are not doing anything relevant, or that could be decommissioned.

All of us know that our needs change over time, as does our infrastructure. With changes in IT, sometimes no one is really clear what the server does, or thinks it can be decommissioned, but fails to do so because of fear of creating downtime, or interrupting something that may be relevant. The more servers you have, the more consolidation you've done, the more risk that this is a real issue!

Sometimes the server simply has been partially decommissioned, but left running, though it is no longer providing any relevant purpose. So, why care? Well, it is important to keep in mind that these 'zombies' cost money to run. In fact, the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, Sept. 2011 states that the average cost to support a single mid-tier server is $2,000 per year! Wow.

Think about the efforts we go through to save a few hundred dollars here and there, and you realize that identification and eradication of zombies is important, and even in a small business could easily add up to many thousands of dollars. Especially in light of other estimates that state between 10 and 30% of most companies servers are indeed zombies! If you have 6 servers, you may be sitting on a few of these and spending $4,000 per year. Can you think of a use for that? I know I could!

The secret is documentation! If you don't have excellent documentation, then spend the time or money to get that done and figure out what zombies you may be harboring behind the closed doors of your server room. Then execute a program to fully decommission these zombies and eradicate the waste they represent. IT spend it part of business, but IT waste does not have to be, and servers should not be allowed to become expensive zombies sucking the life out of your profits! As always, Happy (and cost effective) Computing!

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