One of the most useful features of our NightWatchman Server Edition release is the ability to help determine just which servers in your estate are actually doing something useful.
Our recent research shows that one sixth (15%) of servers out in the wild just aren't earning their keep. But why? Why do we waste time, resource and energy in provisioning, powering, patching, backing up and generally maintaining what is essentially a useless burden?
Well, here at 1E central we did a quick poll around our experienced consultants (and CEO!) - and here's what we came up with. These are all real reasons, as encountered by us out in the field..
Over provisioning for maximum capacity.
By this we mean that someone over designed the server infrastructure to the extent that maximum capacity will never be reached. Maybe that merger never went ahead after all, but for whatever reason, servers were commissioned, deployed and are still there - waiting like some silent army..
Over provisioning by budget
The thought of having 'too much budget' may bring a smile to some of you, but it does happen! The problem is (and I have seen this myself in the past) that some managers fear, quite rightly too in some cases, that they will lose budget allocation for the next financial year if they do not spend this year's. So it's easy enough to buy a few extra servers and 'keep them in your back pocket for later', but the fact is that if they are in a rack and powered on they are costing money..
Server forgotten about after it’s stopped being used
Now this is a favorite of mine. I was once visiting a customer and there was quite a debate going on in the main server room. The argument centered over a fairly old looking server in the corner. Lights blinking away merrily, who could tell if it was in use? The guy who installed it was long gone, but there was a story circulating that this server did some 'critical overnight update for the Paris office', and the long and short of it was that no-one was willing to actually power it off for fear of triggering war with our French neighbours. Also, the process of actually finding out what it was doing was considered far too time consuming to bother with.
Multiple owners so no one knows who is left using the server
Multiple server ownership can be a problem. Hardware capability has increased, so that more and more powerful servers are being purchased, and end up performing multiple tasks for various departments. That can be a good thing - we do want our servers to be doing useful work for most of the time after all, don't we? However, over time things change. Departments requirements change, managers move on, and what was once critical is no longer considered so. It generally falls to the IT department to try to figure out just who is using a server ( if at all), and what a headache that can be. So quite often the server is just quietly left alone...
Anyway, these are just a few of the many and varied reasons that we found for servers beoming neglected, unused, and ultimately an expensive piece of furniture.
Tackling this issue was one of the most important design goals for NightWatchman Server Edition . We found that traditional monitoring tools focus on uptime and availability, which makes detecting totally unused servers a challenge.
So with NightWatchman Server Edition we include continual analysis for physical and virtualized environments and answers to the question, “Are these servers being used for useful and productive work?”. We also wanted to present this data in a meaningful way, so you can look at a simple report and instantly highlight which servers need further investigation.
To find out more about NightWatchman Server Edition just follow the link. You might be surprised as to just how many of your servers are putting in a full day's work, and how many are just taking it just a little too easy.