Data center consolidation is the practice of increasing IT efficiency by downsizing the number of servers, storage systems, network systems, racks, or even entire sites in favor of a smaller, more efficient environment that demands fewer space, power, and cooling resources.
Key Drivers of Data Center Consolidations
- Government mandates. Federal mandates like the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) and Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) aim to increase the utilization of government data center facilities. These mandates require agencies to develop and report on strategies to consolidate their inefficient infrastructure.
- Migration to the cloud. As more and more enterprises shift workloads to the cloud, the need for space is reduced. As such, organizations are downsizing their footprint to use their space more efficiently and reduce the complexity of data center management.
- Reduced costs. Managing a smaller footprint provides an opportunity to realize cost savings. Fewer physical locations and less equipment comes with reduced operational expenses, energy consumption, procurement fees, software licensing costs, and maintenance costs.
- Green data center and sustainability initiatives. Green data centers around the world are reducing their environmental impact and ushering in a new era of data center sustainability. Organizations have made it a priority to maximize energy efficiency and reduce their data center carbon footprint.
Common Challenges of a Data Center Consolidation
A data center consolidation is a risky endeavor with many potential complications. Surprises and errors can happen and cause extended periods of downtime can happen in any consolidation effort. Common challenges include:
- Not properly planning out the move in detail beforehand
- Mismanagement of teams and resources
- Ineffective use of capacity
- Inaccurate asset inventory records
- Missing or misused cabling and other hardware components
- Unfamiliarity with the new facility
- Difficulty moving all equipment associated with an application quickly and simultaneously
- Incorrect equipment installation
Any of these issues can impede the success of a data center consolidation.
Simplify Your Data Center Consolidation with DCIM Software
With Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, you can mitigate many of the mistakes and unwelcome surprises that even the most experienced data center professionals find derailing their consolidation.
Before the consolidation, DCIM software enables you to understand your actual power utilization by collecting, storing, and reporting on power meter data from intelligent rack PDUs and other smart infrastructure. It also enables you to accurately track the location and detailed information of all your assets across all your sites.
Then, you can use DCIM software and outlet-metered rack PDUs to automate power capacity planning and increase utilization. By automatically calculating an accurate power budget number for each make and model instance of a device based upon the actual measured load of those devices in your environment running your applications, DCIM software enables you to find stranded capacity and safely deploy more devices in fewer racks.
Next, DCIM software helps you easily identify ghost servers so you can decommission them and free up valuable cabinet space that can be filled by other, more useful servers.
Before any equipment is moved in the consolidation, you can use DCIM software to create a virtual buildout of where everything will go and how it will be connected. This allows you to uncover any potential issues that may arise before they occur. You can also articulate the infrastructure design graphically to ensure that all teams can implement and integrate their parts of the deployment seamlessly.
During the move, you can use DCIM software to simplify getting equipment from one site to the exact right location in another with its built-in work order manage system. Clear instructions can be provided for every device with information such as which cabinet, U position, network cables, power cables, rack PDU outlets, and panel or port switches are to be used. You can also track the progress of work orders on the day of the move in your DCIM software.
Want to see how Sunbird’s world-leading DCIM software makes it easy for you to consolidate your footprint, increase efficiency, and save costs? Get your free test drive now!