Monday, August 21, 2006

Garage Sale Time

I just had a garage sale, my third one since I started doing that kind of thing. I must say it's a liberating feeling - you hunt around for junk you no longer need, stick a price on it and people come like crazy to buy your stuff. I love the fact that I no longer need to maintain these items - even tripping over them for me counts as a problem I would rather not have. I don't know why we accumulate stuff, there is probably a very deep psychological reason for it. However, my rule of thumb (different from my wife) is that if you haven't used something in two years, it needs to go in the sale.

Which brings me around to an article I just read about keeping IT simple. So many organizations keep accumulating box after box after box, each of which does a simple little thing. Oftentimes, the infrastructure never gets reevaluated and then you are stuck supporting this stuff. Branton mentions that:

Capacity utilisation — or the lack of it — is one of the biggest issues with server sprawl. Analyst firm Gartner estimates that on average the capacity utilisation of servers in a typical company is no more than 20%. The remaining 80% is largely wasted. For a company that has 100 servers, that is a huge waste of computing resources, considering the costs of maintaining these servers are not cheap.
Those figures comport with my experience - five times as much iron as you need. Here's some advice - have a IT garage sale every two years. Repack and consolidate. You'll be glad that you not tripping over this stuff when you are finished.

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