Craig Ledo, Director of Product Marketing, nlyte Software (, says:

In a recent interview Jonathan Koomey, Stanford University consulting professor, scientist, author and energy-efficiency expert talks about the solutions for the top four challenges in the data center. One challenge he discusses is the underutilization of equipment that leads to a high cost per computing transaction. Koomey says, “Most servers in typical business data centers are utilized at only 5 to 10 percent of their maximum capacity, and cooling and power distribution systems are also used to much less than their full potential. Clearly, that’s wasted capital, and it makes the cost per computing transaction much higher than it needs to be. A secondary effect is that the fixed energy costs for running servers at low utilization make the cost per transaction much bigger than it needs to be.”

“For every kilowatt-hour of IT electricity use, there’s another kilowatt-hour for supporting equipment — cooling, fans, power distribution, and air flow,” Koomey continues. “This is overhead that doesn’t result in more computing, and the more we can reduce it the better.”

One way to reduce this power consumption is by unplugging “orphaned” servers that are turned on and drawing power, but are not doing anything.

There is no question that knowing where all your data center assets are and what they are doing can help you better utilize your power, cooling and space. However, according to industry analysts 17 to 20% of servers in the data center are orphaned. A solution to this problem is to discover what assets are productively working and discard those that are not.

These unused servers are wasting enormous amounts of power and cooling bandwidth in a time when energy costs are skyrocketing and there is a need to reduce carbon emissions. By using a new class of tools, dubbed Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) by both Gartner and Forrester Research, a data center manager can easily identify orphaned servers and other under-utilized assets. Once identified, they can model the effects of removing that equipment to free up space and drive down power costs. Additionally, DCIM includes auto-allocation capabilities to determine the optimal location to place new equipment to avoid creating hot spots and make the most efficient use of power, cooling and space in the data center.

Finding and removing orphaned servers is just one way DCIM extends the life of the data center, drives down costs and enables data canter managers to manage their environments with accurate data, visibility and agility. In fact, Gartner recently reported that DCIM can lower overall data center operating expenses by up to 20% annually. With energy consumption savings being a hot topic between facilities and IT management, more and more data center managers are turning to DCIM solutions for help.