It could be how the C-suite folks look at their IT operation, but it turns out that many enterprises have over-bought and are under using servers.

A new study shows a staggering 4.7 million servers globally are doing nothing useful, wasting $25 billion a year. The study, conducted by Kelton Research, commissioned in association with the Alliance to Save Energy, revealed that the world's largest IT departments have millions of servers that are not doing anything useful.

"Contrary to popular belief, one of the largest causes of energy and IT operational waste in data centers are servers that are simply not being used. The savings from decommissioning non- productive servers cannot be ignored. Organizations need better information on server efficiency and more effective ongoing server energy management." comments Sumir Karayi, CEO, 1E.

The key findings from the 1E/Alliance to Save Energy study are: 15% or more servers are not doing anything useful according to 72% of server managers. Over eight in ten (83%) admit that they do not have an adequate grasp of server utilization72% of server managers polled admitted that they rely on CPU utilization as their measure of server efficiency. (Note: a CPU is busy whether the server is providing a service to the business or doing routine maintenance tasks which provide no business value) 63% rely on manual checks, trial and error or wait until something is broken to find unused servers65% have virtualized unused servers and almost one in three (32%) state that they are actively seeking a solution to virtual server sprawl41% are concerned about and a further 43% are using change control procedures or software to manage virtual server sprawl, a phenomenon where a disproportionate number of virtual servers have low or zero utilization75% admit that their company’s mandate to deliver high levels of IT service internally get in the way of measuring and improving server efficiency

"With U.S. data center energy consumption at an all time high, it's only logical that we reconsider how we are using IT resources. An unnecessary amount of data servers are 'plugged in' 24/7 in an age when power-saving tools are available to businesses. Faced with a fast-moving regulatory environment - including the U.S. climate bill, pending EPA data center initiatives and the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen - the U.S. IT sector may soon be under greater scrutiny for its power consumption. We'll want to say ahead of the curve and make smart, energy-efficient changes where we can," says Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy.