Data center consolidation plays an important role in the IT strategies of many of the world’s most successful businesses. The practice, which is primarily focused on efficiency improvements, encompasses a wide range of different technologies and tactics, which all have a common goal: to reduce the resources that a data center needs. In many cases, data center consolidation will involve changes to the way that data is stored, for instance when a company decides to move from using multiple data centers to focusing on one sole data center for all of its storage requirements.
If you’re considering data center consolidation, but you’re unsure whether your business will benefit from it, or how to go about making consolidation changes, read on. We’ll take you through what data center consolidation could mean for your company, why you should be thinking about it and how your business could profit from the strategy going forward.
What is data center consolidation?
In simple terms, data center consolidation is a way in which businesses streamline their IT systems. Many companies will have grown rapidly over the years, and it’s often the case that IT systems have struggled to keep up with increasing demand. And that’s why a huge number of companies stand to benefit from data center consolidation. By consolidating, companies can make IT architecture far more efficient. In the long run, the strategy saves time and money, while also paving the way for future growth by maximizing capabilities.
Why you might want to think about consolidating
There are a number of reasons why businesses start to think about data center consolidation. Some of the primary causes of data center consolidation include changes to a company’s needs, due to mergers, growth, or a reduction in data requirements.
Many companies will also look to consolidate data centers in order to reduce the size and space needed for their existing setup, in order to make cost savings and efficiency improvements. Often companies will be looking to merge multiple data centers into a single more dynamic and seamless solution.
Legacy solutions can also spark conversations about data center consolidation, with a good number of companies leaning towards consolidation to enhance their capabilities here, allowing them to update legacy solutions and ensure smoother running in the future.
When should we be thinking about consolidation?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this one. Consolidation can seem like an insurmountable task at first, which is why companies tend not to go through the process more often than is absolutely necessary. There’s no single right time to do it, it’s more a case of getting down to business and doing the hard work.
While there’s no doubt that data center consolidation is hard work, companies shouldn’t put off consolidation for that reason alone. If you feel that your systems would benefit, then it’s time to tackle the challenge head on. Don’t be put off by the amount of work involved, because once the changes have been made and the project comes to a close, you and your team will be reaping the rewards for a good number of years to come. Trust us, this is something that’s definitely worth your time.
How to consolidate: a step by step guide
There are a number of different methods commonly used by IT professionals working on data consolidation projects. In our experience, the most effective methods tend to incorporate a hybrid cloud work environment, which enables more effective running on fewer resources. Take a look at our step by step guide to data center consolidation for a brief guide to how it works.
Step 1: Capacity planning
First things first, think about space. Consider whether or not you’re using all the space you currently have, and whether the unused space in your data center is costing you money. Far too many companies end up paying for space that they’ve never used and have no plans to use, simply because their existing contracts are inflexible. This is something you’ll definitely want to avoid, so make it a priority in new data center consolidation plans.
Look into data centers offering cage free infrastructure, which will allow you to scale up or down as required. Other things to look out for in new data centers include free cross connects, set up, rack and stack, and free remote hands-on that will consolidate unused space or cabinets for you, as time goes on and requirements change.
Step 2: Remove or replace inefficient hardware and software
We bet you’ve already heard all about the Marie Kondo method, the trailblazing organization strategy that’s taken the world by storm, sparking so much joy in the process! But did you know you can apply the same approach in data center consolidation?
Take a look at your existing hardware - if you immediately start to feel frustrated then you can safely say that it doesn’t spark joy, and it needs to be replaced or upgraded. Remove inefficient hardware or software and look out for better alternatives that’ll help you stay one step ahead.
Step 3: Enjoy the fruits of your labor
Once you’ve finished consolidating you’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy your hard work. Consolidation can be enormously helpful for all kinds of businesses, helping to improve their total cost of ownership and allowing teams to regain control over their data center space. If this sounds like something your company might find useful, now’s the time to look into data center consolidation. Start thinking about consolidation and considering how you might approach the task, and before long you’ll have a thorough plan of action ready to go.
Data center consolidation is overlooked all too often, but it shouldn’t be. The practice offers a whole range of benefits for teams willing to take on the challenge, and some great rewards lay in store following effective consolidation strategies. Read up on how consolidation works and what it might offer your team, and you could soon be enhancing the efficiency of your own systems, and saving a considerable sum of money in the process.
This article was contributed by TRG Datacenters, the first data center to offer full service colocation that is easy, fast, and reliable.