Skip to content

8 Strategies for an Efficient Post-Recession Data Center

by on October 20, 2011

Just because the recession is officially over doesn’t mean it’s time to take the foot off the data center budget brake—not completely, anyway. Don’t get me wrong. The fact that data center spending is forecast to rebound to pre-recession levels and beyond—is good news. It means that companies are making some investments they might have delayed over the past couple of years. These investments not only will ensure that data centers are better meeting businesses’ growing performance needs—chief among them, the need to manage the data explosion—but also could help drive the economy.

Data_center_serversBut even though a loosening of the purse strings is a good thing, we shouldn’t ignore the data center efficiency lessons we learned from the recession. There are things you can do to stay efficient without sacrificing effectiveness. Here’s a look at some of the strategies to consider as you reevaluate data center spending in this post-recession era, among others suggested by CIO.com and ServerWatch.com:

  1. Power Efficiency: From greener designs to technology improvements like virtualization, companies have been making changes to limit power consumption growth dramatically over the past few years. For both the spending and environmental impacts, this is an effort that’s well worth continuing.
  2. Virtualization: A single server hosting multiple virtual machines reduces power, cooling and hardware replacement costs.
  3. Automation: Data center automation can streamline routine tasks and help IT shops function with the smaller staff sizes that have resulted from the recession.
  4. Data Relocation: Relocating non-critical data can save on storage and lighten the load on the data center.
  5. Standardization: Standardizing servers and storage makes it easier to manage resources efficiently and predict capacity.
  6. Application Consolidation: Running fewer applications, if you can do so while still meeting the business needs, will cut costs.
  7. Service Levels: Reducing availability requirements from 99.999 percent to 99.9 percent, for example, might produce some cost savings while still meeting business requirements. So might reducing data center hours of operation.
  8. Offsite Storage or Hosting: Using tape stored in an offsite facility, leveraging the cloud or collocating servers can help you manage all of your data without growing internal data center capacity.

As the CIO.com article offered, many of these principles can help extend the life of your data center by up to several years, delaying the requirement to invest tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in a data center upgrade, expansion or relocation. Companies clearly have gotten smarter during the recession about how they manage their data centers, and there’s no reason to abandon these strategies and invest in an overhaul sooner than you have to.

When it comes to data center budgeting, cautiously optimistic is the way to go. While we may no longer need to pinch pennies quite as hard as we did back in 2008 and 2009, efficiency is still important. The key is to strike a balance between freely spending to optimize effectiveness and slashing costs to run as lean as possible. There may be a fine line between the two, and there’s no right answer. But with 2012 budgeting well underway in many organizations, these strategies can help you find that balance for your business.

What is your take on data center budgeting? Are you finding that data center spending in organization is on the rebound?

One Comment
  1. These strategies are awesome. Simple to understand. Thanks for sharing it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: