Data Center

5 Data Center Resolutions for 2012

It’s a slam-dunk for any blogger to take advantage of the holiday season to write posts on holiday gifts and resolutions. Far be it from me to pass up this erstwhile tradition, so I offer this take on new year’s resolutions for your data center.

1. Get a handle on what you’ve got.

You can’t manage – or improve – what you can’t measure, as the saying goes. So it’s likely time to take stock of what exactly is in your data center, so you can take the next step and ask questions like, “Do I need all this stuff?” This entails an asset management exercise, preferably with a tool that not only handles inventory management but helps you make intelligent decisions about how to handle your assets throughout their lifetime, such as to maximize energy efficiency.

2. Look for more consolidation

Most companies are taking advantage of server virtualization technology to consolidate the number of physical servers in their data centers, but few are taking the technology as far as it can go. While it’s true that some applications fare better on their own physical servers, chances are most of your applications are not of that ilk. And there’s no reason to stop with just servers; in 2012 I expect we’ll see the technology applied more and more to storage as well as network technology, offering more opportunities for consolidation.

3. Improve Data Center Infrastructure Management

This post, published last year at this time at the Viridity Software Data Center blog, is still equally valid today:

Once you retire wasteful assets and properly plan for power, space, and cooling, you can move from data center damage control to data center optimization. Let’s bring together IT and Facility management with centralized monitoring and management of critical data center infrastructure. Become [one] of the growing number of data center managers who are adopting software solutions like Viridity’s EnergyCenter as the single pane of glass view needed to get real time feedback on data center performance.

It just so happens that Schneider Electric quite recently acquired the Viridity EnergyCenter 2.0 platform, which will augment Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare for Data Center Operations DCIM suite. Pretty powerful combo.

4. “Go Green or Get Greener”

That was the title of another entry in last year’s list of data center resolutions from Viridity. The rationale holds true today:

This new year will be the year to measurably decrease energy consumption and increase efficiency. If you have already started a green data center initiative, aim higher and become one of a number of data centers that [are] saving money by qualifying for data center rebates.

Rebates are gravy, if you ask me. Even better is the recurring savings you’ll get from reducing energy costs throughout the year. As noted in a previous post:

A 1 MW high-availability data center can ring up an electric bill of $20 million over its lifetime. If you can wring a few percentage points of efficiency out, you’re saving big money.

To find out just how much you might save, have a professional conduct an energy audit.

5. Stay up to date

Our final bit of advice comes from a blog post at Data Center Dynamics:

Our industry is changing. Continuous education is not an option. Whatever level you are at within your organisation, allocate at least 20 days a year to learning.

I’m not sure 20 days is reasonable, but you can dedicate some time each day, or a few hours per week, to keeping up to speed by reading blogs like this one, checking out white papers and the like. Throw in a trip or two to an industry conference or seminar and you’ll likely get close to those 20 days.

Best wishes for a happy and productive 2012.


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