Uptime Institute kicks off server roundup contest

The data centers that tear out the most servers get free tickets to the next Uptime symposium

The Uptime Institute has launched its first Server Roundup Contest to encourage data center operators to retire obsolete servers and reduce their energy consumption.

To take part, contestants identify servers that are old, inefficient or just not doing any useful work and replace them with modern, virtualized hardware, the industry group said on its website. They can also move workloads to the cloud.

The winners get free passes to next year's Uptime Institute Symposium and a chance to present their achievement on stage. More importantly, they can cut their companies' energy bills and do something to help the environment.

"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," the institute said. "That's not chump change."

About 10 percent of the servers on data center floors and in server closets aren't doing any useful work, the group estimates. That's all low-hanging fruit for companies looking to squeeze more capacity out of their facilities.

"Instead of piddling around shaving a point off your PUE [power usage effectiveness], it's time to get focused on what will make a real difference," the institute said.

Participants get a Server Roundup t-shirt and a logo for their website, and winners get a fancy belt buckle as well as tickets to the Uptime Institute Symposium in Santa Clara, California, next May.

The institute will pick two winners, one for most IT equipment removed and one for largest percentage of IT equipment removed. It wants proof in the form of photographs, change records and other paperwork. The contest closes Feb. 1, 2012.

"Going virtual? Server consolidation? Moving to the cloud? Going out of business?! We don't care. Just unplug and decommission those machines," it said.

The Uptime Institute does research and gives seminars for the data center industry, and manages the tiering system for data center reliability. It also has a professional services arm.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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