Unless you are in the tourism or hospitality industry, I think its safe to say that your business will slow down over the Christmas period. The majority of your staff will take their leave and head home to their friends and family to over indulge in copious amounts of food and alcohol. Even if you don’t enjoy or partake in the festivities, you still have to admit that it’s not a very productive time to be in the office.

With an empty office and no user demands, how many test and development servers will you be using?  How many corporate application servers do you need? Wouldn’t it make sense to shut down the kit you’re not using? Why not run your IT Infrastructure at half the capacity, and give your servers a rest over this period as well.  Unless of course you’re planning on using the quiet period for test and dev, which unfortunately would require a dedicated employee who doesn’t like taking holidays.

Turn off your unused virtual machines and scale down to match the holiday requirements. This won’t affect your environment as you are only powering things down, simply power then back up in the New Year. For the servers that have to be left running, you’ve turned off some of your compute resources, so now you can cut back on your required hypervisor resources.

With minimal effort you have saved a few trees and cut down on your next power bill.  Now why not consider making this a standard weekend practise? In fact why not consider using this ‘only use what you need’ model in other aspects of your business.

In this day and age power is not the only thing that can be switched on and off.