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IT Managers Consider Pulling the Plug on Idle Servers

May 19, 2008 - Nearly two-thirds of IT managers rate their datacenter energy efficiency "average" or worse and idling servers in their development and test environments may be one of the biggest culprits, according to Cassatt's "2008 Data Center Energy Efficiency Survey."

More than a quarter of survey respondents concede that greater than 60% of their development and test servers are idle during off-peak hours. Nearly the same percentage (59%) say they would consider turning off servers for some period of time. Forty-one percent say they can't justify turning a server off.

What's holding them back? Companies cite a range of reasons, including impact of turning off idle machines on application availability (45 percent), application stability when shut down and restarted (42%), impact on physical reliability (36%), difficulty determining ROI for a power-management solution (28%), and lack of integration into existing systems management tool (26%).

Even so, many companies say they are willing to try automation to power-control their servers, though they are most comfortable doing that in development and test environments. Forty-three percent say they would be comfortable with automated power management for a majority of their development and test servers, and 37% say the solution would be appropriate for low-priority production servers as well.

While the fears about turning off servers may have had some validity in the past, they are unfounded when looking at the reliability of today s hardware and the new power-management software that is now available, says Bill Coleman, CEO of Cassatt.

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