Tuesday, March 17, 2015
According to Business 2 Community, a critical disconnect between non-IT executives and the company's data center have fostered a wariness in the C-suite toward the expensive demands of keeping a data facility up-to-date and optimized for the future. It's no surprise then that many IT teams are left underfunded and a little sore at the higher-ups. Thankfully, there are numerous cost-effective solutions available to assist IT staffs in managing commercial data centers without breaking the bank. Matching these solutions to a data center's most glaring problems is the best way for companies to get the most bang for their data center buck.
"Greater scalability and improved disaster recovery are well-known upsides of virtualization."
Consider the long-term advantages of virtualization
Virtualization offers a far more cost-effective alternative to expanding your data center with additional physical servers. In addition to cutting down on hardware costs, the consolidation of servers through virtualization also helps an IT team avoid paying the increased energy bills that would come with physical expansion. This strategy provides a go-to solution for IT teams in need of greater storage capacity at a manageable cost. IT teams may even be able to use virtualization to reduce their budget and expand storage at the same time.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has had great success in deploying virtualization as a means of helping government data centers consolidate and cut costs, according to the Federal Times. The Department of Defense demonstrated one of the most impressive deployments of virtualization, earning back over $68 million in savings by consolidating its data center holdings. Likewise, the State Department eliminated $9 million worth of maintenance costs by reducing the number of physical servers being operated in its facilities. In addition to easing burdens on the budget, several agencies listed greater scalability and improved disaster recovery as upsides of virtualization.
Modernize data center infrastructure where possible
Retrofitting the data center with all-new technology is costly and time-consuming - IT teams may be able to save money and reduce complexity in the facility by prioritizing the optimization of current technology and integrating new technology to fill the gaps. According to Data Center Knowledge, modernization strategies are ideal for IT teams working on a budget because these solutions help to lengthen the value of legacy systems and could potentially drive new revenue streams. For example, facilities depending on dated copper wire connections can deploy a new fiber upgrade more effectively via the use of a fiber-to-Ethernet solution. Getting creative with modernization solutions is the key for optimizing the performance of your entire data center.
Thinking outside the box helps to minimize the cost of data center updates.
Review contracts and look for ways to limit IT expenses
Sometimes improving the data center on a budget requires thinking outside of the box and beyond IT expenses. InformationWeek pointed out that IT staffs stand to reduce their expenses significantly by simply having a conversation with the companies managing the company's hardware and software contracts. Leases on servers and licenses for software add monthly expenses to the company's budget, but there's no reason to assume those prices are set in stone.
A quick negotiation with the service vendor may be enough to earn a more flexible or reduced payment schedule. Service providers may even offer to bundle extra features with the customer's current package, increasing the value of their service without raising the price. The resource pointed out that the best time to attempt a negotiation with service providers is during the midst of economic recession, when a large number of data center clients are looking to negotiate new contracts.
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