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Server sprawl occurs when one or more servers within a data center are underused in the sense that they aren't being used up to their base capacity. As a concept, server sprawl defines the amount of computing, space, power and cooling waste within a data center’s cluster of servers.
Server sprawl typically exists when an organization houses more servers than it should based on its current and predicted requirements. These servers can exist within a single server room or data center or can be spread across multiple enterprise owned and managed computing facilities. The overall waste that server sprawl entails can be considered in terms of underutilization per server,the amount of physical space that's taken up by excess servers, the presence of servers with none or few critical applications deployed over them, and higher maintenance costs. Server sprawl is eliminated through server consolidation or server virtualization, which reduces the number of physical servers and thus their associated maintenance and management costs.