Data center sprawl can happen easier than you think. Without realizing it, you may be paying for more data center space and facilities than necessary to run your company’s mission-critical applications, storage, and backup systems. That’s because over the years your company has probably acquired numerous point solutions from multiple vendors, each with its licensing requirements, refresh cycles, and operational requirements. Regardless of whether you’re maintaining your own facilities, colocating with a third-party data center provider, or using a public cloud provider for data needs, there’s a lot to consider. It’s also a hot topic for companies looking to deal with changing economic trends and new technologies. Data center consolidation is made possible by virtualization and other technologies that enable an organization to meet their IT needs with much less equipment than required by conventional IT environments.
When consolidating data centers, the immediate question is, “Where do these data and applications go and what makes the most sense?” Some companies choose to house all data and applications in-house and put disaster recovery in the cloud. Others may opt to use a private cloud and expand to the public cloud to develop a testing environment or to serve as additional capacity when needed. Any combination can be set up for a successful and highly available infrastructure. Let’s look at some of the biggest benefits of consolidating your data center.
- Reducing costs with hyper-convergence – One of the most significant benefits of consolidating data center space is that it can simplify operations and eliminate floor space and building maintenance activities required across a larger area or across several data centers. Hyper-convergence of appliances also helps to reduce power and cooling costs. With a managed service provider, there are also additional efficiency gains because those data center providers have carefully tuned their environment to maximize savings and reduce OpEx.
- Increasing agility and responsiveness – By consolidating data centers, companies can experience increased agility and responsiveness and can adapt to changing business needs much more quickly. With a more centralized data center environment, businesses can launch new services with less effort. That’s primarily because consolidating into a multi-tenant environment allows for greater flexibility in terms of connectivity and service provider options. Companies can choose the right vendors to meet their specific needs, and they can make quick changes to their infrastructure as needed. If and when an opportunity arises, organizations can support new, revenue-generating activities for the business, rather than simplifying focusing efforts on managing the systems they currently have in place. Delivering high-quality and consistent customer-facing services is also streamlined because teams can access customer data, applications, and assets from central data repositories.
- Enhancing control and streamlining compliance management – Standardizing other business-critical processes and systems becomes possible with a consolidated data center strategy. Companies can gain much more control over their operations and reduce uncertainty, which is especially a concern for industries with strict compliance regulations. By having critical assets in a few centralized locations, companies can improve overall resilience, process consistency, and can ensure data is secure and easily monitored.
- Boosting security – Organizations can improve their security posture by consolidating data centers because they reduce the number of attack surfaces and endpoints running across the network. Considering a majority of service outages are traced back to human error, having fewer people interact with critical systems can minimize risks. Businesses can institute repeatable security policies around the handling of data and applications. Teams can ensure consistent critical security infrastructure across their environment.
Ending data center sprawl for good
More and more organizations are facing data center consolidation mandates from the C-suite, or they’ve just started to realize the extent of their data center sprawl. Data center consolidation makes it possible to establish uniform practices surrounding the handling of data and applications and fully integrate a company’s IT network into a single, cohesive environment for better control, cost savings, and enhanced security.