Uptime Institute pays bounty on dead servers


Uptime Institute announces the winners of the Inaugural Server Roundup Contest. AOL roped in the prize for both the largest percentage of equipment removed and for most IT equipment removed. NBC Universal rode in with runner up.

The Inaugural Uptime Institute Server Roundup was announced October, 2011 as a contest to remove and recycle obsolete IT equipment. Participants were required to document the decommissioning of the machines, and provide data on power savings, and photos of the servers.

Decommissioning a single 1U rack server can result in $500 per year in energy savings, an additional $500 in operating system licenses, and $1,500 in hardware maintenance costs. Our winners rounded up close to 10,000 head.

Matt Stansberry, Director of Content and Publications, said, “The intent of the Server Roundup was to encourage and recognize the removal of obsolete computing hardware. So much of the past several years’ efforts around data center efficiency has focused on the facilities infrastructure and PUE. This contest was specifically designed to engage the IT community to get serious about asset utilization and energy efficiency.

“By taking unused servers out of the data center, you’re also reducing the amount of supporting infrastructure necessary. Removing unused servers has a huge impact on overall energy use, which is the goal of most data center owners and operators.”

AOL sent 9,484 head to the stockyards, representing a 26% turnover in server assets across the company. The roundup resulted in a total savings of $5.05 million from reduced utility costs, maintenance, and licensing costs, and includes cash in hand of $1.2 million from asset sales and reclamation. Environmental benefits were seen in the reduction of almost 20 tons of carbon emissions.

“AOL decided to pursue this contest due to both the prestige of the Uptime Institute, whose programs are typically well-respected in the data center arena, and the fun associated with the program, since AOLers do have fun at work,” said Brenda Rian, AOL’s Senior Manager, Environmental Health & Safety. “AOL has been working on data center energy efficiency for a number of years, and this contest allowed us to pause and quantify the carbon footprint and utility savings of these ongoing efforts.”

NBC Universal’s Infrastructure team culled 1,090 head. Those servers removed represent approximately 29% of the total enterprise. Only about 3,800 physical servers remain in their herd.

“The concept behind the Roundup was unique. Taking a routine activity that most people never see and moving it to the forefront of the conversation is a great mechanism to inspire not only our team but healthy competition between like minded organizations,”said Saul Mankes, Director, Data Protection & Infrastructure Continuity NBC Universal, MediaWorks.

“As energy costs continue to rise, rationalizing the portfolio to achieve increased efficiencies has been critical to meeting the growing needs of the business. Through intense virtualization efforts and rigid reviews of infrastructure NBCUniversal has been able to retire over 60 tons of recycled hardware. As a result the company has been successful in lowering power consumption, support costs and increasing awareness of these challenges.”

You can congratulate the cowpokes at AOL and NBC Universal during the 2012 Uptime Institute Symposium in Santa Clara, CA, 13-17 May. They’ll be taking off their spurs and coming in off the trail to present and collect their rewards – genuine Texas rodeo belt buckles. Symposium will feature an awards ceremony, and presentations regarding the specific process, protocol, and benefits of their efforts. Buy them a sarsaparilla and listen to their tales of technology gone bad.

Let’s “head ‘em up, move ‘em out, get those doggies rollin” for Uptime Institute Server Roundup 2012. Contest rules are the same as last year. Deadline for submissions is Feb 1st 2013.

Posted by mstansberry on 29-03-2012
Categories: Uptime Institute Symposium
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