|By Unitiv Blog||
|December 29, 2009 10:45 AM EST||
Now more than every there is pressure on IT to offer higher levels of service and a greater degree of availability all while cutting back on costs. As such, making sure your technology environment is efficient and effectively managed is absolutely essential. The data center, by its very nature, is the one place where IT resources are most concentrated, and the one place where potential strategic gains are most likely to occur. If you want to improve your computing environment and cut costs at the same time, you need to start with the data center.
The Benefits of Data Center Consolidation
One of the best ways to do just that is through consolidation. By simplifying your data center environment, you achieve several goals:
• Increased manageability
• Reduced costs in areas of human resources, facilities, complexity and capital expenditures
• Improved service levels
• Higher availability
• Minimization of impact from outside factors
In short, if you get your data center humming along the way it should, your business will ultimately do the same.
Factors in Data Center Consolidation
Data center consolidation is about more than just combining servers. While that’s certainly part of the process, there are a number of areas that go into data center consolidation. Each of these factors is an opportunity for reduced cost and greater manageability.
One factor to start with is the issue of physical locations. A business that has multiple physical data centers has multiple cost redundancies, all of which are ripe for cutting. By combining physical locations, you greatly reduce overhead. While multiple data center locations can be one way to address disaster recovery and business continuity, there are much more effective (and cost-effective) ways to address those concerns.
Another important issue is server consolidation. This doesn’t just include combining like servers, however. It also includes looking at issues like application consolidation. If two departments are handling the same data from two different applications, you have another opportunity for improved efficiency. The obvious concern here, of course, is making sure that you can provide the same features to both departments that they had pre-consolidation.
Infrastructure is another area of data center consolidation. This includes creating more efficient networks, as well as more efficient storage management. It also includes utilizing shared services to whatever degree is possible.
The final area of data center consolidation is the most difficult, and it relates to people and processes. While you can switch out a server in a matter of hours or even minutes, bringing personnel up to speed on those changes can take much longer. Still, for your company to be at the top of its game, it’s sometimes necessary. The key to dealing with these kinds of issues is to have buy-in from someone in upper management, as well as department heads, who understand the business case for consolidation and can really get behind your consolidation efforts.
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