Operating a data center efficiently can be a challenging effort, especially in today’s budget conscious environment where IT departments are being asked to achieve more than ever before, all while spending less. With these factors in mind, here are five ways to lower costs and improve service.
1. Take advantage of virtualization
Virtualization is proven to reduce physical footprint size while lowering the overall facilities costs including space, power and cooling. Don’t be discouraged if your compliance department requires a dedicated server per role. You can achieve this goal by using properly configured virtual servers and minimizing the cost of those less utilized physical boxes. With virtualization you will get additional benefits including improved resource allocation and resiliency to further reduce total IT costs while providing better services.
Lower Costs: Reduced space requirements resulting in lower facilities costs
Improved Services: Higher resiliency resulting in fewer outages
2. Ensure optimal WAN utilization
When consolidating resources into higher capacity data centers, managing WAN connectivity is critical. Organizations typically move application and server environments, which are scattered among remote or aggregate sites, and place them into a single location. The end-user connectivity and performance has now shifted and is concentrated on a single focus. WAN latency can be 100 times greater than what is measured on the LAN and result in lowered productivity and a poor customer experience. You can use WAN optimization and application acceleration to improve the overall performance for end-users, while minimizing costs. Shaping policies that protect bandwidth on a per-connection or per-call basis can also be used effectively. To ensure optimal WAN utilization, measure performance metrics using a proven enterprise network management solution and analyze the data from service providers.
Lower Costs: Decreased WAN traffic resulting in lower telecommunication costs
Improved Services: Improved application performance across the WAN resulting in a better user experience
3. Target cooling efforts
Over the past decade data center hardware has increased tremendously in density; reaching at some individual rack levels over 30,000 watts of energy. This growth in density and power requirements has made cooling in the data center vital. Managing the temperature at the room level is no longer sufficient with the varying densities from rack to rack. The combined use of dynamic airflow delivery technology, high total air capture airflow products and the use of a network of sensors throughout the data center enable the cooling of each rack without the expense of lowering the entire data center temperature. This targeted approach allows you to lower the TCO of IT systems by reducing power costs, extending hardware life, and decreasing the risk of failures due to overheating.
Lower Costs: Targeted cooling resulting in lowered power consumption and costs
Improved Services: Fewer outages result in improved service to end users
4. Increase energy efficiency and go green
Data Center power costs have escalated, so consider taking steps to increase energy efficiency. Using new energy efficient products can help you reduce power usage and operating expenses significantly. When selecting a new device or application consider the power consumption implications. Often, small changes can result in big savings on the energy bill.
Lower Costs: Decreased power requirements result in reduced TCO and lower operating expenses
Improved Services: Lowering operating costs enables use of the budget to improve service delivery
5. Improve MTTR by selecting the right vendors and products
Lowering MTTR does not always mean spending more money. Using the proper mix of vendors and products can result in significant savings. Selecting vendors that use open standards, provide modular, and easily serviceable parts (for example: hot-swappable battery components) can make a big impact. The key is implementing redundant and parallel systems that can use these shared components. For example, you may want to standardize on a certain size and type of hard drive. By focusing on fewer vendors with exchangeable parts, you can reduce inventory and training to lower total IT costs
Lower Costs: Fewer stocked replacement parts result in reduced inventory purchases
Improved Services: Improved MTTR results in better service to end users
These are five key areas to improve operations. Do you have any tips you would like to share based on your experience?