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How to Lower Data Center Costs Without Impacting Service Levels

One of the areas IT departments are asked to cut back in is operational costs for their data centers

Datacenter Automation on Ulitzer

Down economy or not, IT managers have never had a blank check with which to meet an organization’s needs. As time goes on, IT managers have to deal with increased demand for computing and information services, all while being asked to cut costs and create grater justification for expenditures.

One of the areas IT departments are asked to cut back in is operational costs for their data centers. There are a few steps involved in reducing data center costs while maintaining the kinds of service levels your organziation has come to know and expect:

1. Look at Energy Management. One of the areas most data centers can reduce costs in is the area of energy management. You can set the temperature of your data center to 24 degrees Celsius, in most cases. Another way to reduce your energy costs is to use outside air to cool the data center, as blowing in outside air is much less expensive than air conditioning. Even implementing a server-based energy management solution will save you significant money in the long run.

2.    Rationalize data center hardware. You need to get a clear picture of the equipment you've got in your data center and what each piece does. Doing so can save you as much as ten percent of your hardware costs. You want to make sure that the machines you have are being used effectively, and you want to get rid of those that aren't. In turn, this will lower your support and maintenance costs, and it will also open up new possibilities for virtualization.

3.    Consider virtualization. Virtualization will help to control energy costs, but it will also reduce your capital expenditures and maintenance costs. Effective use of existing technology can reduce energy use by 80 percent or more, and it can also reduce floor space requirements.

4.    Renegotiate. On a regular basis, you need to renegotiate all of your purchase contracts. This will include lease agreements, hardware contracts, maintenance or support contracts, software agreements and anything else. Get rid of the ones that are too expensive, and talk to vendors about lower payment schedules for the rest.

5.    Manage people costs effectively. The largest single cost for most data centers is its people. Review your staffing levels. Take a look at the specific skills that your data center will need for the next 24 months. Make use of outsourcing if it's an option for your business.

6.    Be patient. If possible, delay the procurement of new data center assets. Instead of purchasing new equipment, extend the life of existing servers by renegotiating their service contracts and maintenance support.

7.    Be ready to justify your expenditures. The days when IT sort of had free reign because executives were dazzled by technology have been gone for over a decade. Still, some things you just have to have. Make sure you're ready to justify every cost, especially during times that are on the rough side economically.

Lower Operational Costs Through Process Automation
Enterprise IT organizations are aggressively deploying virutalization technologies to reduce operational costs, increase IT asset utilization, and improve IT's ability to satisfy business objectives.

Read the original blog entry...

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.

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