IT Focus Area: Data Center
December 23, 2014
3 Keys to Maximize the Performance of Your Data Center
The average data center is 18 years old and can no longer keep up with today’s IT and business needs.
Since many of these data centers were designed at Tier 2 standards, they can’t provide the 24/7 operational resiliency that businesses need today. Plus, with IT refresh cycles happening every three years, the average data center has outdated building systems.
A data center that is more than seven years old is obsolete, according to this Forbes article.
Many data center managers and IT executives believe that square footage equals compute power. This thinking is flawed. Migrating to a smaller, denser data center can help you be more agile and dramatically reduce your operating costs.
How Density Can Streamline Your Data Center Operations and Help You Cut Costs
In our webinar “The Power of Density Is the Future of Your Data Center”, we explored how you can use density to build the Infinite Data Center. Increasing your density involves using vertical space, as opposed to floor space. When you take advantage of higher density environments, you can achieve:
Up to 700 percent greater cabinet utilization
Up to 4 times the processing performance
Potentially millions of dollars in savings in capital and operating costs
Fewer number of cabinets
Less data center floor space
Easier data center operational model
Flexibility and agility to accommodate current and future growth of your business
3 Steps to the Infinite Data Center
Here are three keys to maximizing your data center’s density:
1. Think vertically, not horizontally.
A key component of the Infinite Data Center is that it uses vertical space. When you expand vertically, you’ll get more value from the infrastructure that you’ve already paid for—such as cabinets. This reduces your need for floor space while maximizing your compute capacity.
The second key component of an Infinite Data Center is that it’s designed in three sub-sections, all with independent power and cooling. This allows you to empty and upgrade the oldest section without risking your data center’s operations.
Designing and building a smaller, high-density environment requires less capital than a larger, low-density facility. It allows you to operate more efficiently and achieve electrical savings over time. For example, every watt you remove on the IT side will save you 2.84 watts on power and cooling.
Consolidating your technology can result in big cost savings and efficiency improvements. If a company migrated old technology to a higher density environment, they could improve cabinet space utilization by 130%.
If an organization moved new technology to a high-density environment, they could fill the entire cabinet, gaining 700 percent greater cabinet space utilization and four times the processing performance. If a company moved to faster servers, they could save even more.
By upgrading to new technology and moving to a high-density environment, cabinets could be reduced from 66 to nine, achieving a capital savings of $570,000 with a cabinet consolidation of eight to one.
3. Plan. Plan. Plan.
Migrations used to be about moving hardware from one location to another, but now they are much more complex. Today’s migrations are “managed disaster recovery (DR) events”. To avoid downtime and putting your business at risk, you should properly manage your data center migration.
Migrations often fail when businesses:
Don’t have the right expertise for the project
Are short-staffed and struggling to keep the lights on
Lack monitoring and management tools that show them everything inside their data center and how these components interact with each other
Are focused on other business priorities
To ensure a successful migration, you must plan. Improper planning data center migrations to incur significant time delays or unplanned downtime. Ask yourself if you have the resources, tools and staff to manage a successful migration.
Be clear with your needs and what you want to achieve with your migration.
How to Get Started with a Data Center Migration
It’s never too early to start planning your migration. Start by asking yourself key questions about your IT and staffing capabilities. For example:
How good am I at documenting?
What does my change control process look like?
Is my configuration management database up to date?
Are we where we need to be on the IT maturity scale to support our business?
Does my team have the time and experience to execute this successfully?
Remember, the data center moves should center on the process itself not just moving equipment from one place to another.
3 Steps to a Successful Data Center Migration
The following steps are critical to ensure a smooth migration:
1. Develop a strategy. Your strategy is your cornerstone for how you will later execute your migration. Look at your baseline environment and gather data on your infrastructure, applications and how your business uses the environment. This will help you make good decisions during the migration.
2. Plan. Plan the tools, proceses and methodology you'll need for the migration. Create a detailed plan that will help you avoid downtime and risks during the execution.
3. Execute. Your execution should be based on the work you did earlier. This will minimize the time your team spends putting out fires.
And finally, don’t be overconfident and cut corners. Most data center managers will only do one or two large-scale migrations in their careers, so it’s important to take your time and plan it well. Taking care of the small details will ensure your success.
For more information, watch an on-demand presentation of The Power of Density is the Future of Your Data Center.
To learn more about the data center of the future, download The Essential Guide to the Data Center Facility of the Future.