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Server Sprawl

Server sprawl is a situation which results into poor hardware component utilization, compromised system and software security, and high energy consumption. This situation occurs when multiple servers within a data center are under-utilized or partially used, occupies more space, computing, power, cooling, and other resources that can be justified to their work capacity. A server sprawl usually occurs in a data center housing more servers than required. The other cause for server sprawl may arise when a large number of low-end servers are utilized and dedicated to a single application. 

There are various techniques used to minimize server sprawl, among these, computer virtualization is the known one. To mitigate server sprawl, many of the businesses have started opting for server consolidation measures, like blade web servers to slash down the expenses on management & maintenance, and maximizing return on investment.

Why is Server Sprawl a Problem?

Server sprawl is seen as a problem because they are resources enterprises pay for but never use. Although having a little extra space in your data center allows you some room for flexibility, too much of free space can get pretty expensive. Consequently, organizations need to shell out more money.

What is VM Sprawl?

VM sprawl is when you create a new virtual machine (VM) for a tasks that could have been handled by an existing VM.
Put simply, VM sprawls is when there are more VMs than required to carry out the tasks.

How to Avoid Server Sprawl?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to server sprawl. Even though virtualization may help avoid the possibility of a sprawl, it is not a permanent solution.

The most effective technique to avoid sprawls is to educate your employees. Focus on server consolidation. Do not think of server as separate entities, instead think of the entire IT infrastructure as one being. Thus, instead of running 10 servers at 40% capacities, run 5 servers at 80% each. This way you can save money you’d otherwise spend on cooling, power and maintenance.

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