Turn off the lights

Turn off the lights When you go to bed at night, you turn off the lights. When you're the last to leave the office, you turn off the lights and lock the door. This is a good habit. Yet when the weekend comes, many companies keep development and testing servers running, sitting idle and costing the business money. Why is that?

One reason might be forgetfulness - Friday afternoon comes along, someone opens the beer fridge, and thinking about what was running gets pushed further down the stack.

Another might be because the team or people treat their servers like pets instead of like cattle. Back in the traditional data center space, it takes weeks to negotiate a contract, and perhaps months to get everything racked, stacked and cabled up. This creates a personal attachment with the servers, they are your servers, and so you name each one. Your server is a pet. Contrast this with a Farmer Joe, who has a paddock full of cattle. He certainly didn't name each one of them, and sure, it might be disappointing when one dies, but that is 1 out of a few hundred. He has no attachment to each one.

One final reason might be the lack of automation. If it is difficult to bring up a set of servers, then the thought of tearing it down just for the weekend is terrifying. This screams of bad practices. Hardware fails all the time. You need to be prepared for this, or suffer the conquests of a long mean time to recovery. Have you heard of chaos monkey? What about the rest of the Simian Army?

So get your team thinking about farming, automate all the things, and next time you leave the room - turn off the lights.

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