Browse Definitions :
Definition

zombie server (comatose server)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A zombie server is a physical server that is running but has no external communications or visibility and contributes no compute resources; essentially, it consumes electricity but serves no useful purpose.

Zombie servers are often created because user-requested applications end up getting no use or almost no use (typically defined as under six percent). Other causes include redundant or legacy applications and services that have been replaced. An estimated one in three servers in North America falls into the "undead" category.

According to a study conducted by the consulting firm Anthesis Group and Jonathan Koomey, a research fellow at Stanford University, there are approximately 3.6 million zombie servers in the United States; worldwide, the total could be as high as 10 million. Theoretically, four gigawatts of power could be saved by killing zombie servers. Based on calculations by TSO Logic, a company with 1000 servers could net savings of $300,000. AOL's five-year project to purge its sites of zombie servers netted the organization $10 million and in just one year resulted in a 35 percent reduction in its carbon footprint.

To reduce the server sprawl associated with zombie servers, multiple low-utilization servers may be combined into single virtual servers. Servers that are entirely unused can sometimes be repurposed. Otherwise, IT should just kill the zombie -- by pulling the plug.

Zombie servers are sometimes referred to as comatose servers.

See a brief video about finding and fixing zombie servers:

This was last updated in February 2016

Continue Reading About zombie server (comatose server)

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

I have a few employees with the same problem. I'm thinking of unplugging them....
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • RSA algorithm (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman)

    The RSA algorithm is the basis of a cryptosystem -- a suite of cryptographic algorithms that are used for specific security ...

  • remote access

    Remote access is the ability to access a computer or a network remotely through a network connection.

  • IP Spoofing

    IP spoofing is the crafting of Internet Protocol (IP) packets with a source IP address that has been modified to impersonate ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • network disaster recovery plan

    A network disaster recovery plan is a set of procedures designed to prepare an organization to respond to an interruption of ...

  • virtual disaster recovery

    Virtual disaster recovery is a type of DR that typically involves replication and allows a user to fail over to virtualized ...

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

SearchStorage

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

  • optical storage

    Optical storage is any storage type in which data is written and read with a laser. Typically, data is written to optical media, ...

Close