5 Ways to Protect Your Data Center from a 'Zombie' Server Attack

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Make Room for Asset Management

Enterprises need to have a well-conceived and thorough asset management plan that takes into account the physical location of all servers, and helps determine how these servers play into the overall operation of the data center. This will help organizations track changes made to applications on these servers, providing a holistic view of their utilizations. If you don't have a robust asset management system in place, IT teams can start building one by collecting information on any changes to the servers or its related components (e.g., firewall rules referencing the server). Over time, teams will be able to build an identity for these servers that can be tracked and referenced as their data center continues to expand and update. However, maintaining a record of the servers will only yield benefits when the documented data is used to preempt the emergence of zombie servers.

The time is nigh to address what should keep CIOs up-at-night: the zombies lurking in their data center.

As companies look to expand and upgrade their data centers, it's easy to forget about the ghosts of servers past that are hiding in the background, continuing to consume electricity but serving no purpose. According to a study by NRDC, roughly 12 million U.S. servers in operation are doing little to no work but still drawing power. In fact, up to 30 percent of servers are "comatose," meaning that they are no longer needed but still using significant amounts of energy, and many more still are grossly underutilized.

This threat is known but often overlooked as a server can easily turn from a ghost to zombie in a heartbeat. In addition to wasting energy and money, these unchecked zombie servers are vessels for malicious attack, proving the perfect under-the-radar location for external threats. Unless servers fail, administrators have no reason to check for abnormal energy use by individual servers.

IT teams need to take a proactive approach to identify and stop the growth of these silent threats. This will cut down on energy expenditures, reduce inefficiencies, and prevent harmful data breaches. In this slideshow, Muralidharan Palanisamy, CPO of AppViewX, a global leader in the management, automation and orchestration of data center services, walks us through best practices for preventing zombies from terrorizing your data center.


Related Topics : IBM Looks to Redefine Industry Standard Servers, APC, Brocade, Citrix Systems, Data Center

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