Achieving Cost Savings by Rightsizing Servers with IT Business Intelligence


According to a recent international survey, 30 percent of all servers – or 10 million worldwide – are completely idle or severely underutilized. Some of the servers have much more capacity (CPU, memory, disk) than they need to run their workload. Some of them are not doing any useful work at all, but have simply been forgotten and never decommissioned. Identifying the low hanging fruit – the expensive servers with low utilization – and rightsizing these servers typically results in savings of 10-30% – equating to millions of dollars for a large IT installation.

Monitoring tools and unhappy users tend to ensure that the under-configured servers are dealt with, but usually no one is looking at the over-configured servers. Virtualization has led to the perception that over-allocation of capacity is free because the hypervisor and thin provisioning should ensure that the virtual server doesn’t actually get more capacity than it needs. But the reality is more complex and not very transparent. Software costs, for example, are often driven by allocated virtual capacity. Installations that have outsourced their operations or moved to the cloud are usually paying for allocated virtual capacity, and the outsourcer or cloud provider is harvesting the benefits of virtualization. Even for installations that own the hardware and license software based on the physical installation, rightsizing virtual servers has benefits.